Keywords: geographic agglomeration, human capital, scientific breakthroughs, scientific collaborations, technology transfer, biotechnology, bioscientists, competitive advantage
Star-scientist linkages to firms in APEC and European countries: indicators of regional institutional differences affecting competitive advantage
Based on publications and affiliations of the world's best 'star' bioscientists, who have been shown elsewhere to be crucial not only in the advance of the science but also in its commercialisation, APEC countries (particularly the USA and Japan) have done substantially better than Europe in producing these scientists, in attracting them from other countries while retaining their own, and in fostering bench-science level collaborations of star scientists with scientists in their country's new biotechnology enterprises. Such differences in scientific performance and commercialisation are ultimately due to underlying differences in policies, institutions, and cultures. Where standalone institutes, not part of universities or firms, are more prevalent, star-firm collaborations are significantly reduced. Restrictive rules on university faculty participation in commercial activities are also identified as a significant factor for further research. The factors that impede scientific advance and commercialisation in biotechnology may be even more important as indicators of future competitive advantage in other emerging science-driven high-technology industries.