Life Science

MassTLC Leads Efforts to Connect Promise of Big Data with Community & Industry Leaders

Boston – Big data can transform the City of Boston’s services and Massachusetts’s leadership role in life sciences and healthcare, according to three forecasting reports released today by Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC). The reports’ recommendations, announced today at MassTLC’s Big Data Summit, are part of MassTLC’s ongoing effort to foster greater collaboration between sectors in order to position our region at the forefront of the big data revolution.

“Massachusetts is poised to lead as big data transforms every aspect of our lives, from how we care for each other to the way we deliver public services,” said Tom Hopcroft, President and CEO of MassTLC. “By bringing together public sector officials, academics, tech innovators and business leaders in areas like healthcare, life sciences, and urban infrastructure, we are creating a better future while powering economic growth and opportunity in the region.”

The reports include “Big Data & Connected Cities,” “Big Data & Life Sciences,” and “Big Data & Healthcare.” They build upon MassTLC’s 2012 report, “Big Data and Analytics: A Major Market Opportunity for Massachusetts,” that found that Massachusetts had become a major hub for companies that create and use “big data” and analytics technologies, a burgeoning technology sector that is expected to continue its explosive growth over the rest of the decade. Today’s reports connect the region’s big data thought leaders to those in other key strength areas, including urban infrastructure, life sciences, and healthcare.


Big Data & the Connected City

The Connected City concept involves harnessing a broad set of information flows to improve the quality of existing city services, to enable new services, and to create a substantial growth engine for the local economy. The report recommends the ongoing engagement of Boston City officials, industry leaders, and academics, in defining the Connected City vision for Boston, and to then identify responsibilities for directing and managing the process of migrating Boston towards becoming the leading Connected City.

“Boston is making great strides in using technology to improve how city services are delivered but we can and will do more,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “We are making vast amounts of the city’s “big data” available online to the public to not only increase transparency but to also spur innovation. Today’s report offers a roadmap for how we can expand these efforts to make Boston the nation’s top connected city.”

The report finds that big data can:
dramatically improve the quality of existing city services;
enable new and better services;
provide existing services at lower cost;
and provide greater transparency of government services, enabling a more informed citizenry and inclusive form of government.

Big Data & Life Sciences

The Big Data & Life Sciences report found that, despite success with big data technologies in other industries, such as e-commerce and financial services, the life sciences have been slower to adopt new technologies that enable analysis of a richer mix of data sources. The goal of the report is to help researchers cut through existing barriers by identifying target segments that are more open to data sharing and to incentivize the development
of new data science technology that will lead to breakthroughs in life sciences research.

“The effective use of big data offers tremendous growth opportunities in Massachusetts’ life sciences sectors,” said Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President & CEO Susan Windham Banister. “Building upon our global leadership in life sciences, we hope to utilize analytics technologies to optimize drug discovery and development and to create the next biomedical breakthroughs. This report lays out some fascinating recommendations to make this vision a reality.”

The report recommends leveraging Massachusetts’s technology leadership position to advance innovation in life sciences research and development. According to the report, a first step could be identifying a cohort of patients to provide portable consent of their data, which will be used to support better patient stratification and identification of predictive biomarkers for biomedical research, clinical trials, diagnostic test development, drug discovery, and drug development.

Big Data & Healthcare

The Big Data & Healthcare report details how pervasive connectivity, data analytics, and other information technologies will transform the way we conduct research, deliver healthcare, form public opinion, and manage our wellbeing.

“Massachusetts has already set the standard when it comes to e-health but we are just getting started,” said Massachusetts Technology Collaborative CEO Pamela Goldberg. “Bringing together leaders in healthcare, life sciences, and IT to build a framework to maximize our great strengths is the smart and right thing to do.”

The report recommends convening public and private sector stakeholders to create a plan, modeled in part upon Governor Patrick’s 2007 $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative, to accelerate and expand the Massachusetts e-health cluster’s global leadership. Examples include developing an e-health accelerator program to build upon the Commonwealth’s qualities as a leader in entrepreneurship in healthcare, life sciences, and information technology.

The full reports can be viewed HERE. (