Monday, 25 February 2013

‘Beyond the golden triangle’: Biotechnology incubation in the East Midlands region of the UK

an article by David J Smith (Nottingham Trent University, UK) published in Local Economy Volume 28 Number 1 (February 2013)


Policy changes by the UK government in the 1990s led to the setting up of a large number of technology incubators specialising in biotechnology. A feature of these biotechnology incubators is that they were not confined to established life science intensive regions like the South East and East Anglia (Sainsbury, 1999), but spread across the UK.

This study presents an in-depth case study of one of these biotechnology incubators. It provides insights into the contribution of incubators to the development of the biotechnology sector in the regions outside the ‘golden triangle’ (Mueller et al., 2012; Mullins, 2005) of Cambridge-London-Oxford. It identifies service-based business models as an attractive entry-mode for start-up firms in these regions and shows services to be the main contributor to job creation.

The study contributes to closing some of the gaps in research into the relationship between technology incubation and economic development. In particular it identifies local factors conditioning the performance of local economies, business models, and incubation, particularly in the context of policies designed to promote the growth of technology-based start-up and spin-off companies as avenues for economic development and transformation.

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