chapter  6
Pages 9

Patterns of technological innovation within a country depend on the distribution and accessibility of capabilities across the national system of innovation. A new technological trajectory opens up when demand conditions align with institutional capabilities and organizational resources available within the innovation system. The direction of the trajectory of innovation depends on the pattern of scientific and institutional capabilities, factor endowments, market structure, and the nature of demand. Firms are most likely to exhibit movement along a trajectory when the pull of demand reinforces the push of institutional capabilities and scientific resources searching for opportunities to bring new technologies to the market. The distance moved depends on the extent to which the endowment of institutions, knowledge, and other resources within the national innovation system (NIS) can solve the problems and mitigate the uncertainties corresponding to the technological regime. For biotechnology, these problems and uncertainties center on the breadth of the technology’s application across the economy and strong dependence on basic research, as well as the challenges it poses for existing regulatory institutions.