ISTP, 4901 Searle Parkway, Skokie, Il 60077

SKOKIEBIZ Highlights Skokie Advantages

Skokie ranked high in this measurement of key economic development factors:

In July 2018, the Village conducted its triennial Nat ional Cit izen Survey (NCS), to gauge resident opinions on Village programs, services and policies. This survey is administered by the National Research Center to 1,600 randomly-selected Skokie residences and includes questions related to the business environment in Skokie, as a place to work, overall economic health of the community, shopping opportunities (usually highly rated!), employment opportunities, Downtown Skokie, and the overall quality of business and service establishments in
the community.

Survey Results:

  • 98% purchased goods and services in Skokie more than once a month.
  • 92-94% rated the overall economic health of the Village as positive.
  • 92% would recommend living/working in Skokie to someone who asked.
  • 90-93% rated Village efforts to implement economic development initiatives to bring new businesses, create new jobs, and generate sales taxes as positive.
  • 87-91% visited Downtown Skokie businesses more than once a month.
  • 84% rated the overall quality of business and service establishments as positive.
  • 83% rated Skokie as a positive place to work.
Click here to read the entire edition of SKOKIEBIZ

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Vetter’s Skokie Facility Expansion nears Completion

Since beginning full operations in late 2011, Vetter’s US early-stage development site has been expanding to help meet growing customer demands.  A significant level of expansion activities are nearing completion at its US clinical manufacturing facility located at the Illinois Science & Technology Park. The ongoing growth of the facility will help satisfy existing and ever-increasing future customer requirements as well enable meet the complex needs of newer drug molecules like peptides or antibodies, many which need refrigeration or freezing. New offices with 45 work stations, conference rooms and an archive room are also included. To support the increase in customer projects, a permanent second work shift will be added in Visual Inspection over the next months. A second shift in Quality Oversight is also planned.

“This variety of activities is a further proof point of Vetter’s consistent strategic approach to stay ahead of the market by focusing on the important service needs of our customers during their drug development journey; promptness; flexibility; high yield of their valuable API and, of course high quality,” explains Dr. Claus Feussner, Senior Vice President of Vetter Development Service.  For more details, click here to access the entire press release. 

With the new additions, most of which are expected to be completed by April, the site will increase its storage space by an additional 3,100 sq. ft. The new storage includes a 2,500 sq. ft. freezer farm as well as a planned 600 sq. ft. walk-in refrigerator. In total, 6,800 sq. ft. of storage space will result. A second extension, now in the final planning stage, will include an additional 1,500 sq. ft. of room temperature and freezer space. “When completed, the facility will have more than double the overall storage space we have currently available. This extensive expansion of freezer and refrigeration storage space represents the ongoing evolution in our Chicago business,” summarizes Dr. Susanne Lemaine, Vice President Vetter Development Service Chicago.

For an overview of the history of Vetter, click here. 

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Life Sciences Industry Growth

As noted in a recent CBRE report, the U.S. life sciences industry is growing at the fastest pace since 2000. The 3.2% year-over-year growth rate in U.S. life sciences employment ending Q3 2018 is a strong acceleration from the slow,but temporary, growth in early 2017 and well-above the 1.7% increase in total U.S. nonfarm employment over the same period. Employment in the industry has grown 42% over the past 20 years. All sectors of life sciences (Manufacturing, Testing Labs, R&D) are growing, but R&D continues to outperform.  The key subsector that is driving growth, even within the larger R&D sector, is research & development in biotechnology. This subsector grew at an annual pace of 6.2% in Q3 2018, far greater than other sectors of life sciences. Biotech R&D has grown 88% over the past 20 years.

An abundance of capital allocated to the life sciences industry is helping fuel strong growth. The $15.8 billion in annual life sciences venture capital funding through Q3 2018 was an 86% increase from the prior year. Though most of that funding was diverted to companies in Massachusetts and California, early indications show the share allocated to these states has waned over the past few years as investors seek greater opportunities elsewhere. Among segments of the life sciences industry attracting the most capital, about half of all funding is being allocated to biotechnology pursuits, clearly helping drive that subsector’s astonishing growth.  Click here to access the entire report

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Research Collaboration Challenges

Research collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions are replete with challenges.  These challenges are:

  • Resource constraints, the most frequently mentioned category, refers to the limited availability of human, monetary and organizational resources
  • Legal and administrative process complexity includes challenges due to ‘paperwork’, internal approval processes, ethical reviews, and contract negotiations
  • Coordination challenges relate to difficulties in teamwork, the frequency and quality of communication, the coordination of tasks and the exchange of goods and knowledge
  • Scientific challenges arise from negative results, issues with the scientific methodology and difficulties in interpreting data
  • Goal alignment challenges, relates to diverging expectations and goals among project members and insufficient priority of the project in the partnering organizations
  • Interpersonal challenges include issues related to differences in project members’ individual attitudes, behaviours and interests, a lack of trust in the partner, a lack of commitment by single project members and interpersonal conflict
  • Technological challenges arise from scarce knowledge on new technologies and methods, uncertainty in the technical feasibility of methods and unreliable experimental techniques.
To learn more about these challenges, click here

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Chicago Life Science Opportunities

Long a hotbed of life sciences titans like Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International and Takeda Pharmaceuticals that have established the northern suburbs as a biotechnology hub, the Chicago area has recently seen a rush of startups as schools including Northwestern and U of C have pushed to commercialize faculty research in ways championed by universities like Stanford and MIT.
The biomedical and biotech sectors accounted for 44 percent of the $877 million in funding raised by all 942 startups spun out from Illinois universities between 2013 and 2017, according to data from the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group.
But the number of local facilities available for clinical tests and that also offer the equipment startups need hasn’t grown as quickly. One reason lab space isn’t pervasive is that it is expensive and risky to build. Structures like these need special ventilation, electrical and safety systems to accommodate chemical reactions, and extra security to protect highly valuable intellectual property.
The fully occupied ISTP in Skokie, on the site of the former research complex for pharmaceutical giant G.D. Searle, today houses several life sciences companies that originated at Northwestern. Read more in this article from Crain’s

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Increased Vitality to Downtown Skokie

The Village of Skokie welcomes a variety of new mixed-use residential and commercial investments in Downtown Skokie and surrounding areas. The $65 million, 8000 North development, broke ground in May. A mixed use development project by Neri and Nea Maya Developments at 8122 & 8110 Lincoln Ave has been approved. Varda & Company, LLC is investing over $4 million in 7 new townhomes at 8326 Elmwood Place. The Northfield Group, Ltd is constructing a $12 million mixed use project at 8017-8025 Skokie Blvd. For information on these developments and more, click here to access the Fall 2018 copy of SkokieBiz.

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Top Companies Choose Chicago

U.S. News recently reported on why Chicago has become a top city for startups and entrepreneurs. Community supporters who help to drive entrepreneurial activity are a unique collaboration between startup accelerators and incubators that work in concert to nurture and showcase the region’s best and brightest emerging companies.

These accelerators drive innovation across the spectrum of sectors, such as mHUB, which is an innovation center for advanced manufacturing. Serving entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector is MATTER, where innovators are working together to drive major developments in the healthcare industry. Chicago also boasts the world’s #1 business incubator, 1871, and TechNexus, which both support technology startups of different stages. To read more, click here. 

The City of Broad Shoulders is becoming a City of Innovation as it attracts or creates more tech companies and jobs. Chicago had 14,014 tech businesses in 2017, 46 more than in 2016. The city also had 341,600 tech workers across all industries in 2017.  To read more about job creation, click here.  

Founders who start companies in Chicago can enjoy both the benefits of a big city and the warmth of a Midwestern town. The Windy City’s startup scene is boosted by a strong talent pipeline from local MBA and engineering programs. Female founders are drawn to Chicago: a solid third of the city’s startups are run by women. To read more on this topic, click here. 

“There’s a strong work ethic in the Midwest that you will not find anywhere else,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel noted. “It cannot be replicated or bottled, and it’s a dedication that they don’t have on either coast.”

Google opened a small sales office 18 years ago and has since expanded to 1,000 workers, says Karen Sauder, vice president of sales and site lead for Google Chicago. “The city’s culture, diversity and strong emphasis on community made it a perfect fit for Google and we look forward to our continued growth for years to come,”

“I saw this explosion at the intersection of technology, innovation, and established companies in Chicago,” says Penny Pritzker, billionaire entrepreneur.

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Chicago Poised for Growth

Chicago is one of the nation’s leaders for employment in the life sciences industry according to a recent report from CBRE. While many U.S. industries are navigating fundamental disruption, the life-sciences industry – which includes pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical-device manufacturing – is on a long-term expansion track. Chicago is primed to benefit from this industry’s growth, as the market has seen strong gains in employment and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in recent years.

Noted Scott Brandwein, executive vice president with CBRE in Chicago; “Chicago is well-positioned for future growth in life sciences thanks to its large cluster of pharmaceutical and biotech companies and world-renowned research institutions such as Northwestern, Chicago, Rosalind Franklin, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Fermi and Argonne Labs.”

Chicago has received an employment boost in recent years, especially in its traditional industries of pharmaceuticals and medical manufacturing, which have experienced a sharp uptick since 2013. Jobs in this sector total increased nearly 18,000, exceeding the previous high of approximately 17,500 in 2006. In total, Chicago is the fifth largest market in the nation for employment in this sector. To read the entire CBRE report, click here.

 

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