An analysis of firm-level innovation strategies in the US biotechnology industry

Linda A. Hall, Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


This study examines factors that may affect innovation strategies and performance of firms in the biotechnology industry. Specifically, differences between factors common to firms with high R&D intensity and those to firms with low R&D intensity are investigated. Biotechnology firms with relatively higher levels of R&D intensity attribute their innovation performance to research-based innovation factors and strategies such as strengthening their own research capabilities, entering into research collaborations with universities, industry leaders and other biotech firms, and licensing their technology. These strategies can be summarized as alignment within the industry. Firms with relatively lower R&D intensity have a hybrid focus-they invest in R&D but may also have products on the market. These firms attribute their innovation performance more so to production-based innovation factors and strategies such as gaining market access and maintaining connections with customers. Their strategy focuses on competitiveness, marketing, and distribution channels, while not ignoring the importance of a strong research base and the need to advance technologically. In a sense, strategies employed to achieve successful innovation reflect the stage of innovation in which a firm is operating for a particular product or process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotechnology
  • Innovation
  • R&D intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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