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Science, the State, and the CityBritain's Struggle to Succeed in Biotechnology$
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Geoffrey Owen and Michael M. Hopkins

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728009.001.0001

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The Role of Government

The Role of Government

(p.192) 8 The Role of Government
Science, the State, and the City

Geoffrey Owen

Michael M. Hopkins

Oxford University Press

Beginning with a review of the emergence of an internationally successful UK pharmaceutical industry in the post-war years, this chapter explores the polices employed by UK governments to support the biotech sector and describes similarities and differences in the approaches that successive UK governments have taken over the period 1980–2015. With the notable exception of the creation of Celltech, policy approaches under the Conservative governments which held office until 1997 focused on providing a supportive institutional environment for a broad range of industries—horizontal support, rather than vertical measures. In more recent years, as the biotech sector seemed to be at risk of decline, a more interventionist approach has been taken. The Conservative-Liberal coalition government (2010–15) adopted a more fully fledged industrial policy, with substantial vertical support measures for the sector in recent years. The chapter explores whether the government could have done more to support biotech firms.

Keywords:   pharmaceutical industry, industrial policy, government, horizontal and vertical policy measures, innovation ecosystem

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