Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Do all roads lead to the two Cambridges and Basel?
So some very sad news yesterday - the announcement of the closure of the Nutley R&D facilities of Roche. Families disrupted, kids moved to new schools, partners careers affected, and then inevitable greater competition for the few remaining jobs and downward pressure on salary and benefits. It's a tough time to be a drug discoverer wanting to work in industry. Quite striking to me in this is the geographical focussing of the drug discovery industry in three places, Cambridge MA, Cambridge Cambs (or 'Cambridge Classic' as I call it) and Basel (you could also add a fourth, South San Francisco to this list, maybe). You can understand why this happens, the companies want access to a 'liquid' talent pool, and employees want 'robustness' to future layoffs, and this leads to focussing of 'resources' in a few geographical locations.
Would be interesting to pull together the data for the last 40 years on R&D site locations and staff sizes, and then plot them on one an interactive maps - showing first growth, and then retrenchment. Load me up with some armodafinil, and I'll have a go.