DAILY NEWS Feb 20, 2013 10:34 AM - 0 comments

Simon Fraser study hints of new tech biz sector

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A new study led by a Burnaby BC’s Simon Fraser University (SFU) researcher reveals that a new breed of technology start-up companies is creating a novel, potentially very profitable business cycle.

De nova firms — technology start-ups borne of tightly integrated private industry and university research labs — are driving invention at the crossroads of nanotechnology and biotechnology. This, in turn, is energizing many economic sectors such as business investment and manufacturing.

Elicia Maine, an associate professor at SFU’s Beedie School of Business, unveiled the unpublished study, Global Bio-Nano Firms: Exploiting the Confluence of Technologies, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) convention today. It is the last day of the 2013 meeting of the world’s largest science research gathering in Boston MA.

The study’s authors have identified, classified and analyzed more than 500 of the world’s first companies in the emerging bio-nano sector. Their data shows these companies are taking hold not just in technology hotbeds such as California’s Silicon Valley and the northeastern United States but also across the country, and in Europe.

“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.”

Between 2005 and 2011, the number of bio-nano firms nearly doubled to 507, with more than 100 of them emerging in North America alone.

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