Out in front: the Boston cluster


Out in front: the Boston cluster

When it comes to life sciences, Boston is out on its own. LSIPR takes a look at innovation in the Olde Towne.

The Boston life sciences industry is flourishing, according to Jones Lang Lasalle, a multinational firm that advises life sciences companies on business strategies. Last year the company produced the first comprehensive, global life sciences ‘cluster’ report, with a heavy focus on the US.

It argued that, statistically, Boston and its surrounding area was the highest-ranking US industry hub, taking first place in five of six categories including government funding and venture capital funding. On the face of it, accruing 17 points more than second-placed New York-New Jersey, Boston stands far taller and stronger than any of its rivals.

But looking more closely, how dominant is Boston? For example, the town’s life sciences employment as a percentage of its total employment—16.2 percent—is only marginally higher than second-placed Philadelphia’s, at 14.8 percent. And venture capitalists, who are crucial for investing in the life sciences industry, increasingly flock to the San Francisco Bay Area rather than to Boston.

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