Here Are Some Uninformed Thoughts on Pharmaceutical Development

January 24, 2011

As I’ve mentioned many times, I know almost nothing about science. I’m not even sure that my iPod is working the way it should, so you know that I definitely don’t understand biochemistry or molecular engineering. And while this article about a new federal drug development center is better left to blogs like Xconomy and TechFlash, I’d still like to share a few thoughts. Join me for an uninformed journey.

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Weekly B-MOW: enterpriseSeattle Economic Forecast Conference

January 13, 2011

For this week’s installment of the “Best Meeting of the Week” feature, we’re going to talk about what I like to call “the most depressing day of the year.” Or at least, it has been over the last few years. I refer, of course, to enterpriseSeattle’s annual Economic Forecast Conference, which starts each year with a panel of local and national economists talking about their predictions for the economy over the ensuing twelve months. As you can guess, those forecasts have mostly been bad…and those bad forecasts have been pretty accurate, as we all know.

But this year, the Economic Forecast Conference had a theme – a focus on a part of the economy that is and will increasingly be a bright spot for job creation and prosperity. And that theme was global health. Which definitely makes it the Weekly B-MOW.

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A Global Supply Chain for Global Health

December 23, 2010

One of the issues we’ve been tackling with the Global Health Nexus, Seattle organization is how to truly bring public and private stakeholders together for the benefit of local global health organizations. We know that it has to be mutually beneficial, especially for corporations that are motivated by core business issues, but it should also take advantage of those unique aspects of our region, its location and its business community. In the past, we’ve thrown out some ideas – from corporate social responsibility to emerging market business development – but it seems like there’s one selling point that is rising above the rest: supply chain development and utilization.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of the Year (in Ideas): Big Ideas of 2010

December 15, 2010

I can’t wait for this Sunday. It’s literally my favorite day of the year. Why? Because the New York Times Magazine’s Year in Ideas issue is going to arrive at my doorstep! (I know, that’s a very nerdy reason for a day to be one’s favorite, but what can I say…I love ideas!) The NYT issue is apparently the 10th annual, but it also serves another important annual role: inspiring the creation of the Prosperity Blog’s 2nd annual “Big Ideas” post!

To quote from last year’s, we here at the Prosperity Blog have also had a good year of ideas, generating all sorts of practical proposals for improving our region’s business climate and competitiveness. But, of course, we have also had lots of impractical, sky’s-the-limit ideas that we hope someone is going to take and run with and make all our dreams come true. So, for all you good-idea-awaiting folks out there, here’s a summary…presented in Top Ten format:

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Weekly REDEW: The Drug Development Process – From Discovery to Commercialization

November 12, 2010

Another week, another webinar…that’s what I always say. I was never sure why I said it though, until last week’s B-MOW on EDA’s webinar was followed by this week’s email from GlobalCompliancePanel inviting me to a live webinar. Maybe I got this webinar email because I posted last week about webinars. Or maybe I’m just prescient. Regardless, I’m dedicating this week’s Random Economic Development Email of the Week to ” Live Webinar – The Drug Development Process – From Discovery to Commercialization”. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Around “Lending of Credit”

November 12, 2010

Every economic development blog in the state of Washington has, at some point, railed against the “lending of credit” provision in the state’s constitution. Which is actually a pretty good pun, considering the lending of credit provision was put in as a backlash against “greedy” railroad barons. Zinger! Anyway, you know what I’m talking about: the prohibition against direct investment of public funds into private enterprises. Which is a big deal around the country in economic development, where cities and states will throw money at a company to get it to move there. Sometimes that works out, sometimes it’s money that they don’t quite have.

A lot of folks in the state talk about making a run at a constitutional amendment, but I’ve never seen anyone actually make a go of it. Not that there’s a lot of money in the state government to lend to private companies anyway. But there are actually some interesting approaches that get around that prohibition going on these days. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly B-MOW: Chamber Regional Leadership Conference!

October 25, 2010

As I mentioned in this/last week’s REDEW, the reason that our weekly features are late is because we were at the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Leadership Conference. Given that, we’ve got almost no choice other than to make it this/last week’s Best Meeting of the Week! Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly REDEW: Rotary, Soccer & Global Health

October 15, 2010

For some reason, our weekly “Random Economic Development Email of the Week” seems to always be an invitation to an event. I guess I get invited to a lot of random events. But I think you’re really going to get a “kick” out of today’s post. Why? Because it’s about soccer!  Well, not about the game of soccer specifically, but about how the Seattle Sounders are a part of why Global Health Nexus, Seattle believes that our region can be an international hub for global health activity. So, without further ado, I give you this week’s REDEW: “You’re invited to a Rotary fellowship event with Seattle Sounder, Sanna Nyassi.” Read the rest of this entry »

In Philly, We Called It Quizzo

September 23, 2010

A popular thing to do at drinking establishments across the land is known as bar trivia (that is the first sentence of my Claude Levi-Strauss homage book, “Observing Wildlife at Local Watering Holes: One Man’s Journey into the World of Urban Young Professionals and Alcohol”.) You probably have seen the phenomenon – groups of people hundled around tables with team names like Don Quizote, Les Quizarables and (my personal favorite) E = MC Hammer² – all furiously arguing over the name of Mary Louise Parker’s character in Weeds (“Nancy Botwin.”)

Clearly an enjoyable, but generally unproductive activity. Unless you’re using the medium to promote global health!

Now, this isn’t a blog post to advertise Seattle BioMed’s event, especially since it already happened, but this did catch my eye as part of an overall trend of increasing attention to our region’s exciting global health community. Read the rest of this entry »

Age Vs. Size for Job Creation

September 15, 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot about the issue of job creation and cluster growth, in light of Zymogenetics’ recent sale to Bristol-Myers Squibb. The sale kicked off the latest round of debate in the local life sciences community, to the tune of “is it a good or a bad thing that all our successful biotechs get bought up.” We’ve all debated this over and over again, and the answer really stems from what it is that you think creates jobs: large anchor companies vs. small businesses.

Interestingly, the answer might be neither.  Apparently, the businesses that create jobs are the new ones. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Move the CDC to Seattle!

August 12, 2010

It sure is a shame that Seattle didn’t have a huge malaria problem back in the day. Not because I think we missed out on our fair share of infectious diseases, but because it turns out the reason the Center for Disease Control is outside Atlanta is that it used to be a hot spot for deadly mosquitoes:

The CDC was founded in 1942 as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities….Atlanta was chosen as the location because malaria was endemic in the Southern United States…With a budget at the time of about $1 million, 59 percent of its personnel were engaged in mosquito abatement…there were only seven medical officers on duty and an early organization chart was drawn, somewhat fancifully, in the shape of a mosquito. (editor’s note: “ha!”)

Why is this quasi-humorous factoid relevant?  Because it’s time that the Center for Disease Control had a west coast office, and it’s clear to me that such an office should be here. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s IT?

August 12, 2010

This is both a real question and a question my grandfather would ask…of course, until last year he was still using Web TV as his internet. But enough about Poppy Irv.

What counts as IT is a major question as we head into the next Regional Economic Strategy and our comprehensive economic analysis. And I’m not sure I know the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Hey Kid, Go Be Entrepreneurial

August 3, 2010

One of the things that we hear a lot about in the economic development community is the importance of small business and entrepreneurship. A majority of jobs get created by small business, to say nothing about how many new products and innovations get launched that way as well. Here in Washington state, we’re great at entrepreneurship, with one of the highest rates of business starts per capita…except that we also have one of the highest rates of business failures per capita.

We’ve done a lot of research on that topic, and there are several reasons why those stats are somewhat misleading (for example, the high percentage of seasonal businesses…like farming…that get created and then close on purpose each year). And there’s issues with the B&O as a tax on businesses in the “valley of death” (pre-profitable, yet forced to pay a gross revenues tax). But it’s also true that successfully starting and running a business is hard, and there’s not actually a lot of resources out there to prepare you for it. Read the rest of this entry »

If Only Someone Could Help the Biotech Community Partner With Global Health

August 3, 2010

There’s nothing I like to blog about more than when I find examples of really smart, accomplished people agreeing with me. Or rather, agreeing with something I also think. Which is why this Xconomy interview with Tachi Yamada of the Gates Foundation got me excited: it’s totally in line with what we’re doing at Global Health Nexus. Read the rest of this entry »

Global Health – What’s In It For Corporate America?

June 29, 2010

The last Prosperity Blog post on Global Health Nexus talked about why supporting global health in our region might appeal to economic development folks and average citizens.  But what about corporations and other large businesses in our region…why should they care about supporting global health?  As it turns out, there’s plenty of good reasons. Read the rest of this entry »