Paloma Fernández Pérez: Pioneers and Challengers in the Global Plasma Protein Industry, 1915-2015. [Abstract]
Entrepreneurship in the science-based industries is often the result of collective actions undergone by entrepreneurial groups. The origins of the biotech industry provide many examples. In the plasma protein industry, which has registered a continuous growth since 1910 and an accelerated process of mergers and acquisitions in the last decades, there are three leading corporations whose history reflects collective entrepreneurship: Baxter with headquarters in the United States (start 1931), CSL Behring in Australia (start 1916) and Grifols in Spain (start in plasma business in 1940). This article provides a historical overview of the industry and how the making of collective entrepreneurship allowed a challenger like Grifols, from a late industrialized country such as Spain, to cross entry barriers in the plasma industry, buy many of the pioneering corporations, and establish a global leadership position. This article argues that the long-term trust-based personal and professional relationships established by the entrepreneurial Spanish family lab, with managers from the US and Japanese corporations, produced a collective entrepreneurial hub of connections that made possible a long-term sustained process of innovation and globalization in a highly specialized biomedical industry.