News in brief

When asked to put this year into perspective, half or more CEOs of the nation’s fastest growing companies said their business and industry sector is being driven by cost containment and strategies for coping with the business slowdown. Yet some see their business and sector as being driven by factors like e-business and globalisation – and the good news is that this latter group is expecting growth considerably above the norm. These are highlights from the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers Trendsetter Barometer.

Despite the downturn in the economy over the past year and the failure of dotcoms, university students are still optimistic. 65% say they aim to become millionaires, many of them (30%) hoping to achieve this goal by the age of 40, according to a poll of students conducted at the Ernst & Young International Intern Leadership Conference. But 43% of students also said that family and friends are a current priority as they manage their work and personal lives. Interestingly, at last year’s (2000) annual conference – when the economic climate was more hopeful – 75% predicted they would become millionaires in their lifetime.

JD Edwards is to acquire YOUcentric, of Charlotte, North Carolina. YOUcentric is a privately-held provider of Java-based CRM software, including applications for sales force automation, campaign management, contact centre management, and partner relationship management.

The application of genetics to biopharmaceutical research and development holds enormous potential, but is a high-stakes game. A research report by The Boston Consulting Group details the potential: savings, in the best case, of more than $500m and up to two years in developing each new drug. But the report says that the application of genetics lags behind that of genomics technologies, and that there are many hurdles to overcome.

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