After a successful 2014, MassBio is getting ready to ring in the new year. We look forward to working with you in 2015, and are especially excited to celebrate our 30th anniversary with you!
Here a few of our New Year’s resolutions:
1. Take an Active Role in Defining Value in Healthcare
This year we released Impact 2020, a strategic report that calls for MassBio to work closely with our members and other healthcare stakeholders to drive the conversation on defining value in healthcare. In 2015, we will convene industry, patients, payers and providers and work to ensure that cost containment efforts protect and incentivize innovation. We will continue to put patients first and keep patients at the center of the conversation. We look forward to working with our member companies to share and amplify powerful patient stories in the year to come.
2. Connect Early-Stage Companies with Capital & Resources to Grow
Impact 2020 also addressed new challenges in capital formation and identified new and evolving models for early-stage funding. MassBio will continue to support early-stage innovation and work to connect entrepreneurs to the resources they need by deepening the resources provided through our MassCONNECT mentorship program and continuing to host Pharma Days to enhance partnering opportunities.
3. Look to the Future
As we look toward the future, cultivating talent in Massachusetts will remain a priority. In 2015, MassBio will continue to work closely with the MassBioEd Foundation to improve workforce development as we seek to inspire students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and prepare our workforce for the life sciences jobs of the future.
MassBio wishes you a very happy new year! We are looking forward to an exciting (and busy!) year ahead!
As 2014 comes to a close and we prepare for what’s coming in 2015, I want to thank you for your involvement and support and reflect on 2014 with a Year in Review highlighting our biggest focus areas of 2014.
1. Shaping the Future
This year, MassBio released Impact 2020, a strategic report on the state of the biotechnology and life sciences cluster in Massachusetts. Impact 2020 calls Massachusetts stakeholders across industry, academia, healthcare networks, payers and government to:
- Drive the conversation on defining value and reward for innovation in the era of outcomes-focused medicine;
- Seize a leadership opportunity at the intersection of tech and life sciences;
- Evolve funding models for early-stage companies and innovative ideas;
- Improve workforce development to ensure a workforce trained for the jobs of the future & support downstream expansion; and
- Highlight patient stories to showcase the impact of innovation taking place in Massachusetts.
Impact 2020 will guide MassBio’s initiatives in the next five years, and MassBio has already started integrating the report into our programs and services.
2. Defining Value, Focusing on the Patient
MassBio joined the conversation on defining value at our Policy Leadership Breakfast in January, where a panel of experts discussed how medical innovation can exist in a new era of healthcare cost containment. We continued the discussion at the 2014 MassBio Annual Meeting and through the year with a Forum series called The Future of Biotech: Defining & Building Value in Healthcare.
No conversation on value would be complete without the patient voice, so in 2014 MassBio hosted its first ever Patient Advocacy Summit. The sold-out Summit brought industry leaders and patient advocates together to examine ways in which life sciences companies can more fully incorporate the patient voice into the work they do throughout the drug development cycle. MassBio will continue educate and support members as they seek to define and demonstrate the value of new treatments.
3. Catalyzing Innovation
MassBio supports innovation at its earliest stages. This year we matched 12 startups with teams of mentors through the MassCONNECT program. It was a banner year for MassCONNECT graduates, who have made deals with biopharma partners, won international business plan competitions and reached product milestones. We also continued to host Pharma Days, our customized, invitation-only partnering events designed to ensure pharma companies meet the right biotech and startup partners.
The findings of Impact 2020 and our annual Industry Snapshot demonstrate that early-stage funding is at a critical juncture. To start needed conversations on this, we hosted a Beg, Borrow & Crowdsource panel discussion at the Annual Meeting and three MassBio Twitter Chats (new in 2014!) on entrepreneurism, seed- and early-stage funding.
We continue to roll out unique, targeted events to convene our members with shared interests, including a new legal workshop in partnership with the American Bar Association, our annual CSO Roundtable, and a BIO Convention debrief.
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To probe the issues behind the middle-skills gap, Accenture, Burning Glass Technologies and Harvard Business School (HBS) launched a collaborative research partnership in 2013 under the umbrella of HBS’ U.S. Competitiveness Project. The various research studies and analyses of this project are being driven by the principle that the “United States is a competitive location to the extent that companies operating in the U.S. are able to compete successfully in the global economy while supporting high and rising living standards for the average American.”
Much has been written about the shortfall in high-end skills, particularly in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Less attention has been paid to so-called “middle-skills” jobs—those that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. How can industry help lower the number of STEM “middle-skill” jobs being left unfilled?
It is crucial for academia to create opportunities for students to experience internships and work-simulations in order to fully understand and prepare for these middle-skills jobs that they are studying to fill. Ten community colleges were recognized yesterday by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Education Consortium for having associate degree and certificate programs that give students a work opportunity. This event was held at Shire in Lexington, Massachusetts. View the online album here.
A lack of communication between academia and industry is causing a big problem in filling these jobs. One-third of HR executives in the Accenture survey noted that while they could find skilled workers, many candidates lacked foundational skills such as an understanding of what makes an effective and reliable employee.
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The MassBio & MassBioEd teams have plenty to give thanks for this holiday season.
We are thankful for a dynamic, inspiring community of scientists, life sciences leaders, policy leaders, and patient advocates. We are thankful for the work you do each day to ensure our family and friends can lead fuller, healthier lives.
We are thankful for your support of our initiatives as we strive to enhance the life sciences super-cluster so it continues to be an ecosystem that allows and encourages the the development of critical new science, technology and medicines that benefit people worldwide.
We are also thankful for your support of the MassBioEd Foundation and like-minded organizations committed to enhancing science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts and developing the life sciences workforce of the future.
We wish you and your families a happy, healthy Thanksgiving holiday!