Modular Innovations and Distributed Processes. The Case of Genetically Engineered Vaccines
The conception and the production of genetically engineered vaccines (GEV) constitute an highlighting example of innovations based on knowledge re-combination. We show that the development of a GEV is achieved through the combination at various levels (cognitive, organisational and technical) of sub-products or modules. Such modular configuration offers an important potential for innovation, but also raises the issue of the coordination of the different actors in charge of the modules. In particular we stress here the role of the patent system, which is essential to improve the interactions among firms and the assembling of heterogeneous pieces of knowledge. We therefore present the development of GEV as being a process distributed over a wide range of actors, in which patents are used as interfaces at the organizational level and as management devices to align heterogeneous incentives.
Antoine BURETH, Julien PÉNIN
Intellectual Property Rights, Biotechnology, Modularity, Collaboration, Collective Innovation