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Boston's Bio SuperCluster: The Boston Foundation Report


On March 26, 2013, The Boston Foundation held a major public event to mark the release of their new printed report; Understanding Boston, "Life Sciences Innovation as a Catalyst for Economic Development." Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was there to make opening remarks as the Commonwealth reached the halfway point of a ten year, one billion dollar investment in this sector.
A panel of distinguished stakeholders participated in a discussion and Q & A.
Why is this report and this bio/pharma sector important to all businesses in Massachusetts?
Kendall PRess takes a close look at how business communications is changing and how the business, government, and education partnerships leverage paperNpixelsTM  to communicate their messages and engender public and private sector support for these long term investments.
Just after the release of this report, Xconomy held a standing room only forum called Boston Biotech Seizes the Momentum and that same day, the Governor cut the ribbon at new shared lab space in Cambridge, just up the street from Biogen Idec, host of the Xconomy forum.
The report was heralded through the media, with an emailRSVP to the public event and a complete sellout as media picked up on the report findings and the presence of the Governor to make some remarks. The document itself is a printed 56 page saddle stitched booklet of which most all attendees took home a copy. There was also a webcast and now a downloadable PDFfrom their website.
We gleaned much of the information that follows from The Boston Foundation report which was prepared by the Dukakis center for Urban and Regional policy at Northeastern University. The   authors were Barry Bluestone and Alan Clayton-Matthews.
Massachusetts Life Sciences employment numbers outperform the US by a margin of 2:1. This sector has seen a 27.3% increase in jobs between 2001-2011 and the programs are just starting to pick up traction. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center invested or committed $300 million dollars in state funds which they have successfully leveraged more than $1billion in 3 rdparty investments by private businesses, fed and foundations.
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In 2008, Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature passed the 10-year, $1 billion Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative and charged the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center with overseeing it.
The goal? To make the Bay State home to the most successful life sciences cluster in the world: one that attracts investment dollars, creates well-paying jobs and functions as an engine of innovation that will propel the Commonwealth into a prosperous and productive future. Here are some of the strong results just halfway through the ten year project.
The Center directly invested or committed more than $300 Million in state funds and leveraged more than $1 billion in 3 rd party investments by private businesses, federal government and foundations. There is a New Growth Theory that states tech progress is at the epicenter of all growth and that innovation is even more important than capital, labor and resource inputs.
Innovation based growth is so powerful because it avoids the classic problem of diminishing returns in what Seth Godin calls "the race to the bottom." The first to create is the innovator, all that follows is manufacturing, repetition and cost reductions as margins contract and work flows to low cost labor centers.
Innovation is king. Innovation happens in clusters when word gets out, creatives are energized and synergy occurs across multiple sectors. Start-ups need bootstrapping and exit strategies.
In Bio, they often need larger organizations to buy their technology out and take it the next step.
Massachusetts is increasing the rate of innovation by encouraging more R&D in the Life Sciences and helping small firms in this supercluster convert basic research into marketable products and services.
Results of this initiative to date:
2500 jobs created
Average $105,00 salary
Generate more than $266 million in wages and salaries during the next 5 years with these workers paying more than $93 million in state personal income and sales taxes during that period
For every tax incentive dollar invested, $1.66 will be returned.
Boston area supercluster performance 2001-11:
Mass life sciences employment outperformed US by 2:1 27.3% vs. 11.9%
For the size of our population – Massachusetts wins hands down with 13, 300 Life Science jobs for every 1 million residents.
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