At the Kendall Square Association’s recent Annual Meeting, CIC Founder & CEO Tim Rowe called Cambridge, and Kendall Square in particular, the “most dense innovation cluster in the world.” He noted that because of the work being done in Kendall Square, innovation is being translated to real change that is impacting the world in fundamental ways. Cambridge Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan added that “if there’s any city in America that can get it right, it’s Cambridge.”
When you look at the list of companies that have set up shop in Kendall Square it really is amazing. Among the growing list of life sciences/biotech companies are: Genzyme, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, and Pfizer. Technology companies meanwhile include: Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft. An impressive list, and that’s just the start. Kendall Square is also home to some of the best research organizations in the world, including the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute, Eric Lander, who gave the keynote address at the meeting, noted there is a “scientific revolution going on around us,” adding that, “the center of the center (of the revolution) is Kendall Square.” He spoke in great detail of Cambridge’s influence in the Human Genome Project, noting that some of the world’s most important data was developed right here in our backyard. He emphasized the incredible power of clusters, saying “this is Gloversville.” If you don’t know, Gloversville was once the hub of America’s glovemaking industry with over two hundred manufacturers. The main difference though between Kendall Square and Gloversville, according to Dr. Lander, is that “all they did was gloves,” while Kendall Square continues to re-invent itself with key clusters across multiple industries.
“Collaboration” and “Ecosystem” were words used frequently throughout the meeting to describe Kendall Square. New England Venture Capital Association Executive Director C.A. Webb said, “This is not an office park, it is an ecosystem. The whole is so much greater because of the interconnections within the ecosystem.” KSA’s slogan is “the future lives here,” and that couldn’t be more true.