S. S. Tiwari and P. N. Desai
2scientific research into viable therapeuticapplications requires significant amountof funding, human resources and infra-structure. Simultaneously commercial-ising of R&D requires rigorous clinicaltesting and consumer demand.Stem cell research does involve sev-eral contentious issues posing challengesof socioeconomic, political and ethicalin nature. The commercial path of stemcells entails trust of international scien-tific, industrial and financial communi-ties. If trust disappears market vanishes(Salter et al., 2007). It has become mostcrucial after the South Korea’s Hwangaffairs.
In this back drop, the present pa-per has attempted to analyse the stem cellsector in India using sectoral system of innovation as an analytical framework.The main thrust of this paper is to traceout the linkages among different playersin Indian stem cell sector, along with anoverview of stem cell research in India.The paper is divided into 6 sections.Section 2 deals with the analytical frame work. Section 3 discusses the structure of stem cell research in India. Role of institu-tions is highlighted in section 4. Section 5explores the emerging scenario of stem cellresearch in India, Finally, it is contendedthat the social capital in terms of linkagesof various types can no longer be ignored tostrengthen the innovation system and thatthe co-evolution of technology and institu-tions is yet to emerge.
The present study is carried out froma perspective of the sectoral system of research is becoming increasingly compet-itive. Research in the United States, Eu-ropean Union and Asia is moving apace with increasing level of government sup-port (UKSCI report, 2005). The stem cellsector has witnessed a rapid growth world- wide. This is reflected from the fact thatmerely in a four-year period, the figure fornumber of firms has increased from 33(Laysaght and Hazlehurst, 2003) to 166during 2002-06
(Martin et al.,
2006).Given the huge “disease burden”
(Darr et al., 2007; Reddy et al., 2005),the need for cell therapy, diagnostics andmedicines, the claim of the stem cellsneed to be exploited to the fullest. Coun-tries across the world have evolved theirown policies to take advantage from thestem cell development.India has also taken significant stepsto establish an advantageous position inglobal stem cell market. Indian stem cellsmarket is growing at a rate of 15 percentper annum and is expected to hit US$540 million by the year 2010 ( ExpressPharma, 2007).
The government of Indiais very much supportive of the stem cellresearch, which is clear from the fact thatthe government has invested US $500million during the period 2004-2007.The private players have not lagged be-hind and have made significant invest-ments (Express Pharma, 2007). Thus, it isnot surprising that India is projected as aglobal player in this sector.However, given the nature of stemcell research that involves complex tech-nologies also demands a commensu-rate R&D support. Transforming basic