Corning Microarray Technologies Case Study Essay

9219 Words Feb 28th, 2011 37 Pages
no. 2-0020

Corning Microarray Technologies
Greg Brown, general manager of Corning Microarray Technologies (CMT), finished delivering the bad news to his team. Through the first half of 2001, demand had plunged in the telecommunications sector, which accounted for 73% of Corning’s revenue. As a result, Corning could not sustain funding for the nascent CMT venture. He instructed the group that they would have to identify options for keeping the program alive with half or less of its current budget. Mr. Brown knew that few situations strained the cohesiveness of a management team like formulating plans for severe budget cuts. Still, the team had strengthened dramatically since he had inherited the venture, rife with conflict, in November
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Self-printers sometimes had to pay royalties to Affymetrix, and this was a significant revenue source for the company. Dr. William Hall, a Corning molecular biologist, commented on another disadvantage of self-printing: “Researchers do not have the time or patience to run a facility dedicated to printing microarrays. It is not what they are paid to do. They don’t want to be constantly assembling genes, or managing the enzymes that are needed for printing. That’s generally technician level work. Unfortunately it’s a precise process. You have to put your best researchers on it.” Printing microarrays was expensive and time consuming. Simply preparing the DNA could occupy 20% of a researcher’s time.

Corning Life Sciences and Interest in Microarrays
For several decades, Corning’s Life Sciences division had manufactured laboratory glassware, including beakers, bottles, filters, flasks, tubes, traps, cylinders, stopcocks, vessels and valve assemblies. Growth of these products was typically four to eight

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth – William F. Achtmeyer Center for Global Leadership


Corning Microarray Technologies

no. 2-0020

percent per year. In 1993, Corning Life Sciences accounted for roughly two percent of Corning’s total revenues. That summer, to revitalize growth in the life sciences division and gain a presence in the higher-growth molecular biology products

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