The biotech industry is considered to be the next growth engine by many policy makers and economic development scholars. However, our understanding of how the biotech industry evolves and grows is still quite limited. In this study we examine how the industry began and grew, on the basis of a case study and statistical analysis. A case study of the Raleigh – Durham area reveals that the region was fortunate to have strong political leadership accompanied by scientific, industrial, and entrepreneurial assets that set off the initial spark of the biotech growth in the region. In the study’s statistical analysis we use the tripod approach to examine the growth of the biotech sector. The results show that the complex interplay of knowledge creation, commercialization, and retention factors determines the growth path of the biotech industry.
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