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HUBweek 2018: Why Innovation Needs Cross-Sector Collaboration

10/10/2018

Innovation does not happen in a vacuum. Instead, it requires a rich ecosystem of talent, capital, expertise and logistics to translate theoretical science into life-saving treatments and therapies. Supportive policies also help encourage investment, as well as provide strong IP protections that promote long-term strategic planning.

 

Such an environment is the result of intentional cooperation among government, research institutions and biopharmaceutical companies. A great example is Massachusetts. Home to one of the world’s most vibrant hubs for the biopharmaceutical and life science industries, the Bay State is a consistent source of innovation that fosters far-reaching economic and scientific benefits.

A key element of this ecosystem is the biopharmaceutical sector, which today supports more than 300,000 jobs in Massachusetts and is a key part of its economy, supporting $72.9 billion in goods and services. At a broader level, the rise of biopharmaceutical corporate venture capital (CVC) has been strong, growing to $3.2 billion in 2017, according to a new report released by TEConomy and prepared for by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

 

We must not take the vibrancy of innovation hubs like Massachusetts for granted — it is the result of purposeful and sustained commitment from all stakeholders and will require intentional and collaborative leadership to ensure its continued growth.

 

For these reasons, thousands of experts in areas such as research, education, policymaking and community building have gathered in Boston this week for the annual HUBweek event. There, they will take part in conversations about the ingredients needed to sustain Massachusetts’ success as an innovation hub, as well as wrestle with the hard questions that surround the tradeoffs required for continued progress.

The collaboration seen at HUBweek is reflective of changes occurring within the health care system, which is rapidly moving away from a siloed approach to disease management to a path that relies on deeply integrated partnerships. Advances in the technology industry, including artificial intelligence, big data and wearable devices, are poised to have profound impact on the way researchers examine disease and interact with patients.

 

These investments in new areas such as digital health and personalized health care underscore a growing need for cross-sector cooperation that can achieve breakthrough advancements to benefit patients. To learn more about the impact biopharmaceutical-based CVC is having on innovation, check out PhRMA’s new report here.