The barriers to innovation

By Joseph Chung

The innovation economy has produced countless disruptions and revolutions in how we consume everything from news to noodles, while creating unprecedented returns along the way for entrepreneurs and investors. Yet relatively little of this energy and capital has focused on the senior care and longevity markets. We’re starting to see that change, however — and Boston can become the critical hub where the world’s longevity-innovation ecosystem will develop.

Boston, with its undisputed position as the life sciences capital of the world, owes a large part of its reigning biological status to the computer startup ecosystem that came first. Long before Kendall Square began measuring lab space by the millions of square feet (and measuring lives saved by the millions as well, thanks to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine), Boston had already nurtured a virtuous cycle spanning three essential components: a multitude of world-class research universities developing new breakthroughs, a spectrum of innovative companies driving commercialization and acquisitions, and venture capital willing to take significant risks to achieve outsized rewards. These elements continue to attract and retain the most valuable resource of all: a vibrant community of talented innovators.

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