Lilly CEO John Lechleiter spoke on a familiar theme -- that of promoting regional innovation clusters to spur economic development -- at a recent Brookings conference. The text of his speech has been made available on the PhRMA site.
In his speech, Lechleiter touts the success of the Indiana innovation cluster - supported by a broad coalition of industry, academia, philanthropy and government - in drivng capital to the area to fund start ups thus spurring innovation and creating jobs.
Lechleiter notes that as an innovative pharmacueitcal company - helping to create a viable innovation cluster in Indiana is in line with Lilly's mission to create a "fully integrated pharmaceutical network or FIPNet". The FIPNet is essentially a value chain orchestrated by Lilly that assembles key pieces from partnerships, alliances and other relationships and transactions -- and not always outright ownership. Lechleiter points out Lilly deals with Covance and Evonik as successful examples.
Finally, he puts in a plug for the federal government to invest in these regional clusters and suggests it can lead the way through certain policy initiatives:
- Help establish an atmosphere where innovation can thrive and is valued -- where innovators can expect to be rewarded for taking risks
- Providing clear monetary supports - tax policies/make R&D tax credit permanent, solid IP protection, rigorous and transparent regulation - all incentives to investment
- Promotion of human talent and ideas - broad improvement to math & science instruction, encourage immigration of top scientific talent to the US
He concludes that fostering innovation clusters provides an engine for jobs and economic growth - and promotes a competitive advantage. But, he also points out when innovation is promoted in health care arenas -- it also results in longer, healthier lives.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 9th 2011.