Inter-organisational collaboration in the biotech sector - Who takes the initiative?
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This study focuses on inter-organisational collaboration by start-up firms active in the biotech sector. More specifically, it is focussed on what factors determine the length of inter-organisational collaboration. The following research question is stated: ‘What factors determine the length of the collaboration between high tech start-up firms and their partner organizations?’. This research question is answered with the use of the BioPartner Monitor data set containing quantitative data about the interactions between start-up firms active in the Dutch biotech industry and their partner organizations. A quantitative analysis of this data gave the following results. When the initiator of inter-organisational collaboration is a start-up firms, this has a small and statistical insignificant positive effect on the length of interaction. When the type of partner is a public research organisation, this has a positive effect on the length of interaction. When the start-up is a spin-off, this has a positive effect on the length of interaction. At last, the number of cooperation’s of the start-up has a negative effect and the size of the start-up firm has a positive effect on the length of interaction. Furthermore, a qualitative analysis has been performed which has answered the following research question: ‘When and how do firms in the biotech industry begin searching for partner organizations in order to start beneficial collaborations?’. Data collection existed out of 5 interviews with firms active in the Dutch biotech industry. General findings were that ‘access to technology or facilities’ is the main trigger for firms to take the initiative. Furthermore, direct relationships are an important way for firms to find suitable partners.