The recent establishment California-based bioinformatics industry clusters is a logical consequence of the intersection of existing local Biotechnology, Information Technology and Venture Capital clusters. The very definition of Bioinformatics: "the science of managing and analyzing biological data using advanced computing techniques, 1" helps to illustrate the nature of this intersection. Research and development for Biotech companies generates volumes of biological data and IT companies provide tools that assist in processing this data. It seems only natural that in light of this mutual dependency and given the proximity of existing IT and Biotech clusters a new, specialized Bioinformatics cluster would emerge.
In his article, "Clusters and the New Economics of Competition," Porter describes the benefits created by the "direction and pace of innovation 2" sustained by local competitors in their existing products and technologies. For example, given the already lengthy process of bringing a new pharmaceutical to market, Biotech companies must have realized early on that their ability to stay abreast of competitors was highly dependent
on the speed at which they could process massive amounts of genetic information to find therapeutic candidates. Clearly, the incorporation of cutting edge information technologies into Biotech research and development processes was itself a critical innovation, but it was also critical to future innovations within the Biotech industry. Porter would probably argue that the competitive pressures of clustered Biotech firms fostered more urgent and rapid incorporation of advanced computing into genetic research. The proximity of the knowledge and resources in the IT cluster made it easier to both conceive of these innovations and to access the resources that enabled them. Conversely, innovations in the field of Information Technology were... [continues]
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(2005, 05). Cluster Intersections: Bay Area Bioinformatics. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cluster-Intersections-Bay-Area-Bioinformatics-59646.html
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