Accelrys Takes on Productivity Gap with Scientific Lifecycle Software

[Corrected 5/1/12, 10:35 am. See below.] Amid a nationwide effort to spur a renaissance in American manufacturing, San Diego-based Accelrys (NASDAQ: ACCL) is flipping on the switch today for technology that represents a culmination of much of the strategy that CEO Max Carnecchia outlined for me last year.

At that time, Carnecchia explained how the company’s $175 million merger with Symyx was knitting together “a series of individual islands of capabilities”—creating a series of scientific software products to help manage the entire process of scientific development, from R&D to commercialization and manufacturing.

Accelrys has added a couple more islands since then, and is working to create a comprehensive archipelago of scientific software as a service. Last May, the company paid $13.1 million to acquire Contur Software, a private Swedish developer of Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) software used by scientific organizations to document their research. In January, Accelrys paid another $35 million to buy VelQuest, a Hopkinton, MA-based company that makes software used to help life sciences organizations manage their lab test procedures and keep them in compliance with FDA regulations.

[Corrects product name to The Accelrys Enterprise Platform] Today Accelrys is introducing a Web-based technology platform that combines elements of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for scientific-driven R&D organizations. Accelrys calls it The Accelrys Enterprise Platform, saying it encompasses the full course of scientific innovation lifecycle management—from inception through R&D, commercialization, manufacturing, and even product disposal.

Michael Doyle

“We have some customers who maintain information on [product] formulation, carbon footprint, and ultimately the breakdown of the product,” says Michael Doyle, the company’s director of product marketing and principal scientist. With the platform, Doyle says the company is taking an enterprise-wide approach that enables pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, and other science-driven industries to connect far-flung pieces of their global businesses. Applications built on the Accelrys platform are web-based and run in the cloud.

As part of the company’s enterprise approach to supporting scientific-led innovation, Accelrys also is issuing what it calls “an industry-wide call to close the productivity gap” that is slowing the process of product development and increasing the time it takes to bring new products to market. “The Accelrys platform is foundational to … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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