It has been said that the fortunes that were made during the California gold rush of 1849 were not by the gold prospectors but by the people who supplied them with the tools to do the prospecting. Hoping that history will repeat itself, the competition to supply the drug discovery market with tools and consumables is hotting up.

With the realization that they will have a crucial role in helping pharma and biotech companies discover and develop new drugs faster, companies who intend to provide the tools no longer see themselves as supplier/service companies but instead are now describing themselves as technology enablers. The challenge they face is how best to ensure that they can maintain a leading edge to the technologies, products and services they provide.