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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Op-ed: When ambition conflicts with authenticity

Op-ed: When ambition conflicts with authenticity

Naive ambition can be a powerful commodity during the creative process, but it potentially discredits creative endeavors when it carries over into marketing. From Mayo Clinic’s recent press release announcing its plan for Discovery Square:

“a first-of-its-kind urban bioresearch campus that brings together renowned physicians, researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs to address unmet patient needs in an ultramodern setting for science innovation…”

Claiming that this is the “first-of-its-kind” risks being read as an ambivalence to the work being done at other institutions. Or, worse, since biomedical and biotech advances are predicated on the achievements of others in these fields, it could be read as if Mayo Clinic is not aware of the undertakings at M.I.T., Cleveland Clinic’s NIH Center For Accelerated Innovations (NCAI), the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator at Harvard University, SUNY’s Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC), not to mention hybrid, short term facilitators like Stanford’s StartX Med.

Not bad company to be in. Let’s acknowledge their presence, join the party, or at least give a tip of the hat and show the industry a thoughtful interest in partnerships. If DMC and the city of Rochester is going to be a destination for the world’s top talent in research, design, entrepreneurship, etc., we will need to do so by displaying an awareness of what has come before us and the humility to say that we cannot go forward alone. More succinctly, here is a quote from Mayo Clinic’s president and chief executive officer, John Noseworthy, M.D., in yesterday’s Discovery Square press release: “There is no better way to stimulate innovation than through collaboration...”

Eric Anderson is a writer and artist living in Rochester.


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