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Bridging the biotechnology gap: policy experiences from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia

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This paper analyses the scientific and technological gap of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia in biotechnology and identifies the policy strengths and policy gaps in their biotechnology upgrading processes in the period of 2002?2005. The presented indicators reveal the 'technology follower' status of these countries in the biotechnology field. In what concerns their policy-making systems and (biotechnology) policy strategies, these countries are quite ahead in the process of aligning their governance structures and policy strategies with Western European policy standards. They have identified biotechnology as a priority area and, moreover, they have developed comprehensive policy profiles from an innovation system perspective. However, according to the information available on the policy measures launched in the period of 2002?2005, we can identify policy gaps in four areas: the implementation of biotechnology-specific programmes, fostering a university-industry collaboration, the development of human resources and the promotion of international networking. The extent of these gaps varies from country to country.

Keywords: biotechnology policies, CEE countries, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, performance, policy-making, governance structures, policy strategies, university-industry collaboration, human resources development, HRD, international networking

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