The life science sector: evolution of agro-biotechnology in Europe

Tait, J.; Chataway, J. and Wield, D. (2002). The life science sector: evolution of agro-biotechnology in Europe. Science and Public Policy, 29(4) pp. 253–258.



This article reports on a detailed study of large agro-biotechnology companies, conducted during the recent period of rapid industrial restructuring. The concept of life science synergy, involving a useful cross-fertilisation of ideas between the development of new drugs and new crop protection products, has floundered. Although negative public reaction to GM (genetically modified) crop development is a significant cause, our research suggests that there are other more subtle causes, such as organisational culture differences between agro-chemicals and biotechnology disciplines and between seeds and chemicals firms. We found three distinct approaches to life science and technology trajectory-seeking in top agro-biotechnology companies.

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