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Proximal Origins - Spitz Research (General)

by dulan drift, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 17:28 (172 days ago) @ dulan drift

Spitz Research’s website says it “advances scientific understanding, educates the scientists of tomorrow and impacts human health across the globe. We are science changing life.”
Wiki says they’re the “largest private, non-profit biomedical research organization in the United States ...that has generated over 50 spinoff companies.” Government funding supplies half their income with the rest coming from education, hospitals, and therapeutics. As a not-for-profit they are eligible to solicit donations. They’ve got some good ones, including Ben & Mia Dawes. In general, business was booming. That extra money from donors and a boost in overseas education revenue went into salaries for the higher ups to the tune of 83% in the previous 8 years. Yes it was not for profit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pay your key people decent money. You have to if you want to attract quality, the likes of Lindstrom who'd worked there for 7 years.
In the years following the Obama cuts though, the company started losing 20 million a year for a run of three years. They’re a big company so they can handle a downturn but it’s not sustainable. Things almost got to the point where researchers and administrative staff might have to take a pay cut.

In 2017, their luck changed. They’d already developed good ties with China through collaborative research as well as a 250% boost in the number of Chinese students over 10 years - in fact that was what'd rocket-fueled the pay packs - then the founder of WiXi PharmaTech, Li Jien-ting, who had been a donor, let it be known that he would like to get involved on an administrative level. It was agreed to welcome him as a Director of the Board along with Tom Rystian the real estate mogul and Jack D. Leichardt, founder of venture capitalist group 6 o’clock. The chairman is Wilfred Hearche the third - grandson of the media magnate, Wilfred Hearche.

Li brought new energy as a director. His first proposal was to develop a cutting-edge research facility in Guangdong on the border of Hong Kong. Li negotiated full-funding from the Chinese government, including salaries. As part of the deal, Li wanted the young, brash scientist working in the virology department called Xavier Hansen. Hansen's specialty is the crossover between science and surveillance - he refers to it as macro-science. He's tech savvy and knows how to apply it to modelling. He manages to rub some people the wrong way but he's happy in that world - juggling experiments, politics, papers, and twitter wars comfortably all in the one day.

Although Li Jien-ting is more of a private personality, he saw something of himself in Hansen - an energy, an impatience to get things done - a man who wanted to makes some money and get somewhere in this world. Most importantly, they shared a vision of the future where data is everything.


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