The innovation process in the biopharmaceutical sector is influenced by long business cycles, multiple stakeholders and complex interactions. Early models of the innovation process are inadequate to capture the complexity of innovation in the life sciences sector. In particular, narrow classifications which describe innovations as "radical" or "incremental" are not particularly useful when considered in the context of the complex patterns of interrelated innovations observed in practice.Many partial models of the innovation process which equate innovation to inventive research, patenting and product development fail to recognise that innovation is a cyclical and business-driven process and underscore the final phase of the innovation process, namely, achieving timely market diffusion and adoption of innovations to benefit patients and innovators. Innovation is sustained if it is appropriately rewarded. Investment in the science base alone without appropriate reward system for innovations is unlikely to promote renewed competitiveness in the European biopharmaceutical industry.
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