Biotechnology in Cincinnati: Clustering or colocation?

Yann Ferrand, Christina M.L. Kelton, Ke Chen, Howard A. Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This research, conducted via interviews at 32 biotechnology firms, which provide rare information on actual firm interactions, elucidates the factors that influence the location and growth of the biotechnology sector in a typical American metropolitan area. Results indicate that most of the biotechnology firms within the Cincinnati region are there because of entrepreneurial ties with universities and research hospitals in the area, not because the region has specific advantages for biotechnology firms compared to other metropolitan areas of similar size. The authors find that interfirm linkages range from extremely weak to nonexistent. No specialized labor force exists to support biotechnology firms, nor are there specialized infrastructure and business services. No biotechnology-dedicated government office exists. In summary, the authors see more colocation than interactive clustering of biotechnology firms, implying that economic development efforts to enhance interfirm linkages are likely to be less effective than support for hospital and university research and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
JournalEconomic Development Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotechnology
  • Clusters
  • Colocation
  • Interfirm linkages
  • Regional economic development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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