If you missed BIO 2012, you missed a lot. The public and private sector came together this week on Boston to examine innovation opportunities to promote economic growth through collaborative research and development projects. The event drew 16,505 industry leaders from 49 states and 65 countries. Boston was host to universities, researchers, state, local and federal government economic development representatives, clinicians and private industries. This was science at its best at a truly global event. Discussions around where the biotech industry is going and how pharma is changing took center stage most of the week.
A positive trend was noted in a special state of bioscience development report that analyzes state and national biotech employment patterns. Despite job losses in the U.S. private sector, it showed that US biotech industry actually added jobs between 2001 and 2010. Throughout the week multiple conversations and meetings took place discussing how the ability to collaborate was a key element to attracting biotech projects. Many countries visited the Cisco booth to discover what they needed to do to create an infrastructure to welcome biotech development. How can governments work together with biotech companies to produce and atmosphere that welcomes and fosters innovation?
A report was released at the show discussing intellectual property rights and showing a positive link between economic development and growth, tech transfer, increased rates of progress and innovation and the link between the strengthening of IP rights.
Collaboration was the word of the week. Despite the need to protect intellectual property, it was clear that to sustain innovation it will be necessary for everyone to collaborate more and solo less. The silos of research are not only impeding development they are making it far more expensive than it needs to be.
It was also interesting to note a growing interest in R&D for neglected diseases. A number of companies have come to forefront looking for solutions to some of these illnesses and conditions.
It was an interesting week. Good science, good collaboration, good conversations. Oh, and then there were the lobster rolls….