Report Shows Bioscience Industry Has $2-Trillion Economic Impact

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A new report released at the BIO International Convention shows that the US bioscience industry has had a $2-trillion economic impact and has accelerated venture capital investment and job growth.

A new study, Investment, Innovation and Job Creation in a Growing US Bioscience Industry 2018, released on June 5, 2018 at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention shows that the United States bioscience industry has reached $2 trillion in annual economic impact while maintaining accelerated venture capital investment and job growth numbers. The report, by BIO and TEConomy Partners, a research and analysis firm, shows that the bioscience industry has held a leading position among US technology sectors as an economic driver and job generator.

According to the report, US bioscience firms directly employ 1.74 million people, which includes more than 273,000 high-paying jobs created since 2001. The average annual wage for a US bioscience worker reached $98,961 in 2016, more than $45,000 higher, on average, than the overall US private sector wage. The report further shows that, since 2014, the bioscience industry has grown by 4.4% with four of its five major subsectors contributing to the overall job gain.

The biennial report includes for the first time a full assessment of the economic impact of the bioscience industry. The total economic impact on the US economy, as measured by overall output, totaled $2 trillion in 2016, the report concludes. This impact was generated by the direct output of the bioscience industry combined with indirect (supply chain) and induced (employee spending) impacts. The industry and its associated economic output support 8 million jobs throughout the US economy through both indirect and induced effects.

“This report highlights the enormous economic impact delivered by our industry. This strong performance is due to the vital and wide-ranging collaborations between industry partners, universities, and policymakers that provides a business climate that supports the development of innovative bioscience products and high paying jobs,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO, in the organization’s press release.

The report also takes note of the broader US innovation ecosystem for bioscience companies and finds it advancing with positive results. The US is experiencing strong gains in bioscience venture capital funding, growth in patents, a recent ramp-up in bioscience-related university R&D expenditures, and increasing research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the report states.


“The bioscience industry is vital to the US not only as an innovation engine that is improving lives, but also as a major economic driver that is consistently generating high-quality jobs and significant economic output across the nation,” said Ryan Helwig, principal and project director with TEConomy Partners, in the press release.

The state-by-state industry assessment is the eighth in a biennial series, developed in partnership by TEConomy and BIO, presenting data on national, state, and metropolitan area bioscience industry employment and recent trends.

Report highlights

  • Forty-one states experienced net job growth in the biosciences between 2014-2016.

  • Thirty-eight states and Puerto Rico have an employment specialization in at least one bioscience subsector.

  • Two hundred thirteen of 383 US metropolitan areas have at least one bioscience specialization.

  • Venture capital investments have reached new highs, with more than $66 billion invested in bioscience companies from 2014 to 2017, including a new annual high in 2017 at $20 billion invested.

  • Innovation continues to drive the biosciences; since 2014 the US has increased patent totals in bioscience-related technology classes by nearly 5%, or 1.6% per year, on average. Nearly 27,000 patents were awarded to US inventors in 2017, another new high.

  • Growth for academic biosciences R&D in 2016: after several years of concerns raised about the declining and/or flat NIH research budgets and the subsequent effects on academic and other research, NIH funding is back on the rise. There have been budget increases sustained each of the last three years.

  • Across America’s colleges and universities, the pace of R&D spending in bioscience-related research areas has increased. Following a 1.5% decline in 2015, academic R&D expenditures in the biosciences increased 5.5% to $42 billion in 2016.

Source: BIO