Up to the 80’s, traditional pharmaceutical firms were present on the whole weaving factory guarding very basic scientific skill until covering marketing networks too. Gradually – middleware the 80’s and the 90’s - R&D costs have increased from 10 percent to 20 percent of sales. Inevitably pharmaceutical firms have limited their own direct commitment in research and development. In the 80’s – combined with other factors as the soaring demand of chronic diseases studies and the necessity of obtaining more specific drugs – numerous biotechnological firms have been established. Biotechnology is defined as “the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and services” (OECD, 1982). Biotechnological firms are on the average smaller than the pharmaceutical ones and have a limited distribution and commercial power. The main purpose of our research is to analyze the most important motivations which bring about the creation of biotechnological firms compared with the traditional commitment – in particular during the first step of the research (drug discovery) – of the pharmaceutical firms and the other purpose is to understand what are the research financing sources adopted (public financing, private financing for profit, private financing no profit). In this contest firms business incubators become relevant and they can offer non financial important assets (Abburrà L., Grandi A., Grimaldi R., 2003). These structures are in general tied to national or local public institutions, universities or research centres, no profit institutions. Incubators are often in scientific and technological parks. These structures are geographical poles in which connections between firms and institutions are stressed and where are relevant the advantages coming from the presence of venture capitalists operating in the high tech and knowledge based sectors. Our research empirical reference is formed by some European biotechnological clusters chosen because of their equivalence to the Piedmont ones (Turin and Ivrea). The elements in common are especially the following: an excellent scientific platform, the availability and the ease access to capitals, start up biotechnological infrastructures, a strong start up and spin off high tech and high risk culture and the presence of business incubators. The research proposal has the objective to answer to three main questions: is there a relation between sources or findings and typology of research? Is there a relation between typology of research and typology of institution involved? how do public institutions decide to financing the researches and how do they choose for how many time to support them? To answer to those questions has been necessary to empirically verify two main topics. The first one is related to the research of quantitative relationships between research findings, typology of institutions, typology of research and pipelines progresses. The second main topic - strictly related to the previous - concerns with the empirically verify of private biotechnological firms’ evaluation’s criteria adopted by public institutions (Arundel, A. ,2003; Brown et al. 1997). Therefore we’ve restricted the sample to those firms which directly or indirectly lead their own research activity using - even or exclusively - public funds.
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