The recession hits science

Friday, January 8, 2010 - 05:07 in Mathematics & Economics

The lagging economy is hurting Massachusetts’ vaunted life-sciences industry, and might especially hinder the development of new drugs, according to a report released today by MIT researchers. While the federal stimulus bill gave a temporary boost to academic scientists in 2009, the recession is taking a major toll on investors in science — including the venture capitalists whose dollars help move promising ideas from universities into the commercial sector. That means start-up biotech firms are now struggling to find funding.“The generation of ideas still seems to be strong, but the mingling of ideas and people and money just isn’t happening at the same rate,” says Fiona Murray, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, who helped direct the research report, “Analyzing Innovation and Venture Formation in the Massachusetts Life Sciences Cluster.” Seeing research innovations languish unfunded, Murray thinks, is a real and “alarming” prospect.The part of Massachusetts’ life-science...

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