Open innovation in new drug research : the case of the Indian pharmaceutical sector

  • Bhawani Bhatnagar

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The legislative environment in India underwent changes in 2005 leading to product patentprotection for pharmaceuticals. Equipped with superior process capabilities acquired forgeneric manufacturing, the pharmaceutical sector embarked on a journey to undertake radicalinnovation. The aim of the research is to explore how changes in the national environmentand asset profile of firms have influenced openness for research of novel drugs. The reviewof literature, synthesis of conceptual framework and data analysis is shaped by the theoreticalapproaches of national innovation systems (NIS), dynamic capabilities and open innovation.The theoretical lens of national innovation systems enables our understanding of what shapesinnovation behaviour of a firm, open innovation approach provides a description of howfirms adopt open innovation and dynamic capabilities concept supports the interpretation ofwhy firms differ in opening up their boundaries. The answers are examined through ninecases of established and start-up pharmaceutical firms in India.New drug research is challenging and requires collaborative effort predominantly at the drugdiscovery stage. However, in the Indian setting, research networks are minimal and there islittle cohesion within the ecosystem among firms, research institutes and universities. Firmsare opening up their R&D innovation process to foreign partners through open innovationstrategies; in-licensing, out-licensing and collaborative innovation that vary by stage of drugresearch. The open innovation pathways adopted by firms are influenced by four 4Rs -resource supplementation and risk mitigation that initiate open innovation, retention ofcontrol and revenue maximization that impel closed innovation. The insights into the strategictrends of these firms unveil an open innovation framework that is relevant to the openinnovation theory and praxis.
Date of Award7 Jun 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde

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