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China's Creation of Biopharmaceutical Drugs: Combining Political Steering, Military Research, and Transnational Networking
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Not only the Western world is focused on creating new innovations based on scientific discoveries; this is also the case in China where discoveries in biotechnology science are aimed at creating new biopharmaceutical drugs in order to create a future biotechnology industry and in the end generate economic growth. The focus to invest in high-tech industries such as biotechnology can be traced to the “open-door policy” issued in 1978 with the aim to modernize China and transform China into a “socialistic market economy.” However creating new biopharmaceutical drugs in China is challenging due to the scientific and industrial conditions in China in the late 1970s, including a weak science base due to the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), an industrial base mainly related to the defense industry and heavy industry along with a planning tradition where interaction between science and industry was forbidden. This thesis sets out to investigate how Chinese biopharmaceutical drugs are created.

With the aim to increase the understanding of China’s creation of biopharmaceutical drugs the thesis is a case study with five embedded cases, representing five new drug innovation processes spanning the whole innovation journey including the developing, producing, and using settings. The investigated innovation processes were singled out through a specific method, more specifically by using a focal resource, a biotechnology system used in the scale between lab and process scale. Through this method it became obvious that among hundreds of Chinese drug development projects there were few that reached scale-up and actual use. By analyzing the resource interfaces that the five drugs encountered while being embedded in the developing, producing, and using settings, the creation of biopharmaceutical drugs in China could be revealed. Through the case study three main components was crystallized as important in the creation of Chinese biopharmaceutical drugs, more specifically a) the active role of the Chinese government, b) the utilization of Chinese military research, and c) the utilization of transnational networking. The thesis concludes that Chinese biopharmaceutical drugs are created through something that could be characterized as a “command network economy.”

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University , 2012. , 216 p.
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 151
Keyword [en]
innovation, biotechnology, China, resource interfaces, commerciali-zation, Chinese government, command network economy, biopharmaceutical drugs, military research
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-171713OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-171713DiVA: diva2:512142
Public defence
2012-04-20, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2012-03-30 Created: 2012-03-26 Last updated: 2012-07-17

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