This is nominally a report on the changes taking place in research and development (R&D) within the Life Sciences industry and projections of how it may look in 2030. But look deeper and many of the changes it predicts apply to R&D in general, not just within the Life Sciences industry. The main theme of this report is that the R&D ‘supply chain’ in undergoing significant disruption and transformation. These transformations are happening to all industries in general if not in some specific particulars.
Unprecedented shifts are set to disrupt the R&D ecosystem. Spiraling R&D costs and shorter product lifecycles, combined with increased risks, are having a negative effect on the return on investment and productivity returns [for Life Sciences companies].
Future decentralization in R&D will also be driven by changes in funding models. By 2030, we anticipate R&D funding to be facilitated through cost and resource sharing practices among multiple [healthcare] stakeholders as a way to lower R&D costs.
The major transformation that will take place by 2030 is that R&D will shift away from traditional stakeholders using a predominantly in-house controlled process to an external, project-oriented process. The authors envision that R&D will be turned ‘upside down’ by 2030.
- Alternative R&D funding strategies will be in place
- R&D will be largely externalized
- Project-focused players will manage the R&D value chain end-to-end
The result of this is that in the future, R&D will be done as needed by project teams assembled from a variety of individuals and organizational entities to do specific goal-focused research and then be disbanded once the research is done. As the authors describe it …
Project-focused players are teams of various stakeholders brought together for a common purpose. These teams will be able to manage the entire continuum of the R&D value chain from early stage discovery to late-stage development of drugs, and then disband once their R&D goal is achieved.
This archetype moves away from the traditional model where academia and startups were only involved in early-stage discovery.
These changes can clearly apply not just to the Life Science industry but to virtually any other industry as well. Whether they will come to pass remains to be seen.