Business, Economics, And Law Of Genomic Biology


What is the nature of innovation in genomics and how might the genomics-related industries evolve? What are the roles of university-based start-up companies, independent start-ups, corporate spin-offs, and established firms, within these industries? How can genomics-related products become viable alternatives to existing products based on chemicals and other industries? How can we design intellectual property regimes that maximize total social welfare? What business strategies are most effective for protecting and appropriating value from innovation, including intellectual property rights? As genomics expertise evolves internationally, how does this affect the creation and use of genomics in the U.S.? In high-technology environments such as genomic biology, navigating business, legal, and economic issues like these are as important for scientist-led firms as the innovations themselves.

The Business, Economics and Law of Genomic Biology Research Theme tackles these issues by drawing insight from scientists, technology experts, business, law, and agricultural economics faculty, and personnel from the campus’ Office of Technology Management. Theme research aims to find solutions to problems related to university-industry technology transfer; industry evolution; intellectual property protection; the competitive and cooperative dynamics for both entrepreneurial start-ups and existing corporations; the impact that globalization of biotechnology has on the evolution of industry; and the position of U.S. firms in the global marketplace.

Current theme research includes:

  • The evolving biofuels industry and the impact that disruptive technologies (such as the use of cellulosic feedstocks) may have on the growth of the industry and the performance of firms in the industry
  • The social and environmental implications of genomics-related products and markets
  • The role of "diagonal integration" strategies in determining the survival of firms in the agricultural biotechnology industry

Research undertaken by the theme yields a greater awareness for individual scientists, for research personnel, and for firms in genomics-related industries. Its findings will provide a better understanding of the university's changing role in collaborating with industry, developing new knowledge, and training students to thrive in an environment where biotechnology research and production are on a global scale. Society stands to benefit from a better comprehension of the optimal vehicles of commercialization of valuable innovations and technologies, as the growth and development of economies rest on adapting to the causes and consequences of technological change.