Entrepreneurial variety in Oxfordshire: theoretical and policy challenges

Authors: Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen*, SUNY-Buffalo, Helen Lawton Smith*, Birkbeck University of London, Laurel Edmunds, Medical Sciences Divisions, Oxford University
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: spin-offs, SMEs, universities, regional innovation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Oxfordshire with its major research universities, large companies, and deep-rooted institutions have fostered entrepreneurship across sectors especially in biomedicine. In the literature, the conceptualization of spin-off creation or entrepreneurship in biomedicine rarely differentiates across sectors such as therapeutics, diagnostics, etc. In general causal factors are found to be knowledge creation (e.g., patents), knowledge spillover facilitated by institutional support and scientific-managerial leadership (e.g., open innovation, labor mobility), and absorptive capacity (e.g., initial funding, labor markets). Very few studies track spin offs through their value chain development (e.g., cycles of research and development) to understand the challenges in managing the interaction of firm-level factors and the external environment. In this paper, we use 10 case studies of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from Oxfordshire to understand their paths, which include success as well as stagnation. In doing so, we show limitations in our theoretical understanding of the potential synergies and mismatches in inputs (resources, infrastructure) from public and private sources, nationally and regionally. We consider the implications of such limitations for policy development.

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