Top 3 Takeaways from Changes & Future Trends in the Cambridge Vector of Life Sciences

Jul 21, 2015

massbio forumsOn Thursday July 16th, people from all across the life sciences sector came together to learn about the future of the industry in the Cambridge vector. Read on to hear the top 3 takeaways from the Forum.

1) The History of Kendall Square

Peter Abair, Executive Director of MassBioEd, kicked off the event with a history of Kendall Square, noting how quickly it’s grown to become the world’s number one hub for life sciences.

A slide from his presentation depicts the movement of big pharma to East Cambridge over the past 15+ years.

Cambridge big pharma
The audience was curious to know if the panelists think biotech talent will infiltrate into pharma because of proximity. The panel responded affirmatively but said it was healthy for the ecosystem.

2) Kendall Square has it all

It comes as no surprise that Kendall Square is king.

Quotes from the panelists support this notion:

“Big companies are equally interested alliances as they are in novel therapeutics which is why they pick Kendall Square.” – Peter Abair 

“This is a place to have a career, it’s not a place to have a job.”- Steven Gullans, PhD, Managing Director at Excel Medical Ventures, and author of Evolving Ourselves

“One of our biggest assets is the talent pool we have here in Massachusetts.” – Brad Rosenblum, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC)

Also mentioned was the “incredible ecosystem” and “palpable energy” that exists in Kendall Square. It allows for a wealth of networking opportunity and supports innovation.

3) There’s life outside of Kendall Square

A major focus of the Forum was that there are a number of life sciences companies outside of Kendall Square that have begun to create their own “microclusters” – and they are thriving! The panelists as well as the interactive audience suggested that there is plenty of opportunity for companies to grow outside of Kendall Square. With limited space and rising costs, Kendall Square is no longer an option for many companies but the surrounding communities are. Another slide from the Forum depicts the clusters that exist around Massachusetts and the abundance of opportunity across the State.

kendall sq beyond

Kendall Square has evolved into the epicenter of the life sciences. As we look towards the future, it seems as if the epicenter will expand past Kendall Square and infiltrate into Massachusetts. But only time will tell!

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