Keywords: biotechnology, hybridoma technology, private-public collaboration, knowledge generation, patents
Shift in the focus and pattern of outputs of hybridoma research
Biotechnology has assumed a very important position in the present day research and commercialisation by both developed and developing countries. Whilst it is thought to provide answers to currently existing questions in the field of knowledge (biotechnology) and also has great commercial prospects, there are a number of concerns which have arisen regarding the way the knowledge is generated and put to use. There is a widely expressed concern, discussed in the policy literature which concerns the "too close" alliance between the industry and academic research groups and possible impact in the form of privatisation of knowledge and research agenda more suited to "commercialisation prospects" rather than increasing creativity and public benefit. Using the methods of bibliometric analysis of outputs of research in a sub-field of Biotechnology, i.e., hybridoma technology, we try to verify whether this close association and involvement of industry has any impact. The indicators chosen for this are: the proportion of publications and patents in hybridoma over the years (1986-1998); the shift in the proportion of various contributors involved in hybridoma research; and the shift in the nature of subject matter of patents and publications during this period. The analysis was undertaken on the data derived from the Derwent Biotechnology Abstracts. The results show that there is a shift in the nature of outputs, their contents and the contributors of the outputs.