Monday, 12 July 2010

Industrial Policy Biotechnology

Industrial policy is the deliberate attempt by a government to influence the level and composition of a nation’s industrial output. Industrial policies can be implemented through measures such as allocation of R&D funds, subsidies, tax incentives, industry regulation, protection of intellectual property, and trade actions. Industrial policies in the United States are complex, fragmented, continually evolving, and rarely targeted comprehensively at a specific industry. There is no industrial policy pertaining to biotechnology per se, but rather, a series of policies formulated by various agencies to encourage growth, innovation, and capital formation in various hightechnology industries. And, just as there is no biotechnology policy in the United States, biotechnology companies tend to behave not as an industry but rather, as agrichemical firms, diagnostic firms, or human therapeutic firms. Biotechnology companies have been built on a unique system of financing, but they largely confront the same regulatory, intellectual property, and trade policies faced by other U.S. high-technology firms. There may be a need for the Federal bureaucracy to fine-tune its policies as biotechnology moves through the system, but, to date, Federal agencies have not seen the need to revolutionize their practices for biotechnology.