A Biotech Study Tour to Boston by SANBio/BioFISA II & Biotech Entrepreneurs from the SADC Region

Boston Innovation

Introduction: A view into the Boston Biotech and Biomedical Landscape

While the research landscape offers opportunities to discover solutions that could change the way we can address the challenges faced by society today, this value is  not always realised by a large pool of researchers the world over.  This in part is because of the current incentives available to advance careers for researchers, most of which are largely centred on publications. More so in the biosciences space where discoveries and market solutions can take years before they show any commercial benefits.

The Boston landscape challenges this framework and shows that one can get the best of both worlds and, when this happens, the ecosystem created is such that issues of economic development, job creation and advancement in medical solutions, are by-products of a well-integrated landscape. Sufficient emphasis cannot be placed on the role each stakeholder has to play, from government, private sector, non-governmental institutions, research institutions and universities at large.

When these stakeholders are integrated in their respective roles, an enabling environment is created which allows for innovation and a quest for new discovers. These are some of the observations made by a group of biotech entrepreneurs who visited the Boston area in the United States in March 2017 with the support of the SANBio Network and the BioFISA II Programme. The following series of articles will take you through some of the places visited, insights shared and some of the key take home messages from this study tour.