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Posted: Mar 15, 2013
Firms the crossroads of nanotechnology and biotechnology are driving new business sector (w/video)
(Nanowerk News) A new breed of technology start-up companies is creating a novel and potentially very profitable business cycle.
Elicia Maine, a Beedie School of Business associate professor, is among the first to identify, classify and analyze “de nova firms”—technology start-ups borne of tightly integrated industry and university research labs.
Maine says the firms are driving invention at the crossroads of nanotechnology and biotechnology that, in turn, is energizing many economic sectors such as business investment and manufacturing.
She led a recent study that identifies more than 500 of the world’s first de nova companies. The data shows these companies are taking hold not just in technology hotbeds such as California’s Silicon Valley and the northeastern U.S. but across the continent and in Europe.
Simon Fraser University Professor in Technology Management & Strategy at SFU's Beedie School of Business describes her research. Dr. Maine describes her work studying patent filings over about six years to discover trends in the convergence of biotech and nanotech firms.
“We have watched the ecosystem emerge in terms of the number and type of firms entering,” says Maine.
“This confluence of technology silos in the emerging bio-nano sector is enabling radical innovation, new products and connections that didn’t exist before.
“Some of the things we’re talking about are targeted drug delivery, tissue engineering, enhanced medical diagnostics and new therapeutics.”
From 2005-11, the number of bio-nano firms nearly doubled, to 507, with more than 100 of them emerging in North America alone.