Company Background and Structure

Accelrys is a leading scientific enterprise research and development company providing a range of scientific informatics software products and services. Accelrys was incorporated in Delaware in 1993 and is now headquartered in San Diego, California with multiple business locations worldwide. Their mission is to ensure software that accelerates scientific development. With a focus on research, they create an integrated process for analyzing, accessing, and organizing data (1). Because of their dedication to open service in R&D, consumers are able to access structured and unstructured data (2). Additionally, Accelrys provides training services and a myriad of opportunities to access technical support personnel and to help customers in utilizing their products (2).


In 2010, the company acquired rival Symyx Technologies, Inc., a cheminformatics and notebook software company. In 2011 Accelrys acquired Stockholm-based Contur Software for about $13 million, expanding its research and development software product line. Contur specialized in applications used by scientific organizations to document R&D processes and to manage intellectual property. Contur's Electronic Laboratory Notebook product complemented Accelrys' Symyx Notebook product. Accelrys also acquired VelQuest Corporation in 2011, extending Accelrys’ product portfolio applications into quality assurance and quality control operations for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.

Position in the Nanotechnology Value Chain

Among the many fields that Accelrys’ technology platform serves, the company provides software and nanotools for computational nanotechnology modeling. Their proprietary Computer Aided Nanodesign software grants researchers access to advanced modeling and simulation tools via desktop computing to enhance their nanotechnology research and development. Accelrys falls into the Tools, Equipment, and Machinery portion of the value chain within the software and modeling sector.

Products and Services

Accelrys' produces software and provides services related to their software. Their software is applicable to a variety of industries, as it is useful for data analysis, mining, integration, and simulation. The company is particularly strong in the cheminformatics arena, which encompasses products used to capture, store, manage, and mine chemical information.

Accelrys’ software and services offerings are based on their innovative Pipeline Pilot, the company’s enterprise research and development platform with open service-oriented architecture to allow users to integrate and analyze vast amounts of scientific data (3). Accelrys offers computer aided design modeling and simulation software, a digital lab notebook to replace paper versions, data management and informatics software, various support services, and content databases to provide researchers with a wide collection of scientific reference works. Further, as a result of their acquisition of VelQuest, Accelrys now provides lab execution systems, allowing the company to broaden their solutions in the development and early manufacturing segments.

Accelrys’ products are most commonly utilized by the research departments of businesses within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; however, the company targets research and development organizations as well as early manufacturing organizations in a variety of industries including agricultural, energy, chemicals, aerospace, consumer packaged goods and industrial products. To extend their product line to support research and development on the nanoscale, the company launched the Accelrys Nanotechnology Consortium in 2004 aimed at addressing the technical challenges of nanodesign and extending and creating software tools that enable the rational design of nanomaterials and nanodevices (4).


Accelrys’ customers are quite diverse, ranging from life science companies to consumer packaged goods (2). Accelrys markets its products and services as a way for customers to cut the significant expenses in developing new drugs and products by more efficiently managing and sharing research data, as well as a way to accelerate the overall process of getting products to market. The company sells its products through a direct sales force and third-party distributors. Its clients include government agencies, educational institutions, and corporations; end users for its products are typically biologists, chemists, engineers, IT staff, and scientists. Accelrys' product development efforts have centered on improving the functionality and breadth of its core scientific operating platform, which clients use to sift through and mine large amounts of structured and unstructured data. The open service oriented architecture of its core products enable customers to add on complementary applications they have designed themselves, as well as to integrate applications that third-party developers have designed.

Strategic Partnerships & Competitors

Accelrys has an extensive partners program. Independent Software Vendor partners integrate their own software with technology created at Accelrys to develop innovative applications. Consulting partners, such as Osthus in Aachen, Germany, work with customers to design and integrate services. At Osthus, they take Accelrys platforms and combine them with research, technology, and services to consult businesses and help them reach an ultimate solution (1). Accelrys' primary competition comes from rival firms offering design modeling and simulation products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, including CambridgeSoft and IDBS.

From 2004 to 2010, the Accelrys Nanotechnology Consortium united leaders from industry and academia in a collaborative effort to guide the development of cutting-edge software tools to meet the challenges of rational nanodesign (5). Members of the consortium can be found on the company's website.

For more information, see the Accelrys location page.


  1. Accelrys (2012). Retrieved March 20, 2012 from
  2. Reuters (2012). “Profile: Accelrys Inc.” Retrieved on June 28, 2012
  3. "Accelrys, Inc. Company Profile" (2011, December 6). MarketLine Report via Datamonitor 360 (accessed via the Duke Library).
  4. AZoNano (2005, September 5). “Accelrys- Software for Computer Aided Nanodesign." Retrieved on March 20, 2012 from
  5. Accelrys (2013). "Nanotechnology Consortium." Retrieved on May 4, 2013 from