Unveiling new business breed at world science fair (w/ Video)

Feb 16, 2013

(Phys.org)—Elicia Maine, an SFU associate professor of technology management and strategy at the Beedie School of Business, has co-authored a study that puts bio-nano firms under the microscope.

They are a new breed of business at the intersection of biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Maine will unveil a groundbreaking study on bio-nano firms in a seminar she has co-organized (with James Utterback, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor) at the world's largest science research meeting.

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Maine's presentation, followed by a panel discussion, will take place at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) convention in Boston, Massachusetts on Monday, Feb. 18.

The study, the first of its kind, tracks the evolution of the world's first 500 bio-nano firms from their inception until now. "We are interested in seeing when these firms developed or acquired nanotechnology and biotechnology capabilities, and what they have done with those capabilities in terms of integrating the knowledge into new products and processes," says Maine.

"We've classified the pioneers of this new breed of firms at the confluence of biotechnology and nanotechnology based on their primary role in innovation. They cover the areas of biopharma, , diagnostics, biomaterials, medical devices, suppliers and instrumentation, and bioinformatics."

Following Maine's paper presentation, a panel of researchers from the biotech and nanotech industries will discuss the challenges and tremendous scientific and economic promise that define this new of science-based business.

"On the panel we have a prolific inventor and innovator—considered the most prolific inventor since Edison, an entrepreneur in the emerging bio-nano field, the head of an interdisciplinary lab attempting to achieve , and two innovation-management scholars studying bio-nano innovation," says Maine. "Our facilitator is also one of the biggest names in the management of innovation."

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