Current and recent research interests include:

The co-evolution of biotech firms and the specialist institutions that support them - detailed historical research on the emergence of the therapeutic biotech sector and the difficulties faced by firms attempting to follow the lead of US biotech firms - See details of a new book on this topic here:


The contribution of 'hidden innovation' especially innovations emerging from public sector laboratories - particularly in relation to genetic testing technologies (cytogenetics, molecular genetics and biochemical genetics) See policy report for NESTA here:


Capabilities, learning and knowledge management in innovative organisations and networks  - including pharmaceutical/ biotech firms, engineering consultancies, and their associated project networks and learning networks. Read about Big Pharma's declining contribution to European R&D here (nominated for DRUID best paper award 2012): 


Industrial dynamics, strategy and competitiveness in biotechnology/ pharmaceuticals, including firm life cycles (spin-out, financing, growth, acquisition) and alliance formation. See below - a recent a comprehensive UK biotech sector history exploring why UK biotech firms are smaller and shorter lived than their US counterparts: 


Intellectual property rights in biotechnology particularly trends in nucleotide (DNA/RNA) sequence patenting and organisations’ strategies for gaining and exploiting patents.  Hear Michael discussing DNA patenting on BBC Radio 4's In Business:


Theoretical/ conceptual research interests:

Studies of the evolution of technology particularly STS approaches: The promise of technology and role of power in stakeholder networks – frameworks for assessing the promise of technology and the impact of expectations and the power of groups in the shaping of technology; Understanding the role of risk in shaping networks that support technological change (e.g. in genetic testing services and engineering services


Organisational learning and development of capabilities especially learning in the project based firm, and knowledge management systems.


National systems of innovation especially aspects relating to financial support, intellectual property, and regulation of risks.


The use of mixed methods for rich and informative problem-centred empirical studies, in particular using hybrid qualitative and quantitative methods.