by Christine Hansen
Maryland’s life sciences industry employs 160,030 people — 71,600 directly – and accounts for 6.5% of the state’s GDP, roughly $17.6 billion in economic activity, supporting $500 million in income and sales taxes annually, according to a report conducted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
The report, released today by Governor Martin O’Malley at the 2011 BIO International Convention in Washington, DC, measured the job growth fueled primarily by research and development in private, federal and academic facilities and found that one out of every three jobs created in Maryland between 2002 and 2010 were in the life sciences.
“Especially interesting is that growth in the life sciences sector far surpassed that of the economy as a whole. Given the 2007-2009 recession, total employment has been level over the decade,” DBED State Economist Nancy McCrea said.
The report defines life sciences as “how knowledge of life – from microbes to plants and animals to humans – can be applied broadly to improving human and animal health, the quality of food, and the protection of the environment, like biofuels.”
“The life sciences sector was one of three sectors – along with education and health care – that saw increases over the decade. In fact, jobs in research, testing and medical laboratories increased by 43% and jobs in drugs and pharmaceuticals increased 27%,” McCrea said.
Maryland’s three life science sectors – private industries, federal facilities and academic institutions – represent an integrated cluster of research activity and employment totaling 71,618 jobs in 2010.
“I have been in Maryland for almost 30 years working in various areas of the bioscience arena and find that Maryland has become a much more collaborative state,” Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett of the Institute for Genome Sciences said.
“Thirty years ago, you were either part of the academic sector, in industry, or part of the federal government, and there was very little cross talk. One of the biggest changes I have seen is that we have to come realize that as we have been able to do more, and the biological questions have become larger, we need to tackle these as a large team effort. Maryland really has taken a leadership position in bringing all these different groups together to do great science,” she said.
There are approximately 500 core life sciences companies in Maryland, engaged in pharmaceutical discovery, research tools development, medical diagnostics and device development, as well as contract research and manufacturing organizations. Some of these core companies, including Seguro Surgical, WellDoc, PathSensors, Inc., A&G Pharmaceutical, Lonza, MedImmune, Plant Sensory Systems, LLC, Key Technologies, JMEA, and DSM, were present at this year’s Bio convention and showcased their products in the Maryland pavilion.
Since 2002, Maryland private life sciences have added jobs much faster than the state. The life sciences sector accounted for over one-third of all of Maryland’s job gains during 2002-2010. Maryland’s concentration of private life sciences establishments is the 5th largest in the country, and Maryland’s concentration of private life sciences employment is the 9th largest in the country, the report states. The report also noted that there are over 1,700 private sector establishments in the state directly employing life scientists.
“Maryland provides a perfect environment to foster success in the bioscience arena,” said Bahija Jallal, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research & Development at MedImmune. “There is a great spirit of collaboration between the public and private sectors, which benefits patients by helping drive therapeutic advancements. MedImmune’s 2,500 employees in Maryland are fortunate to be a part this thriving life sciences community.”
The State’s analysis found that research and discovery drove both job and wage growth between 2002 and 2010. Seventy-four percent of Maryland’s life sciences jobs are focused on research, testing, and medical laboratories and almost 20% in drugs and pharmaceuticals. R&D is widely acknowledged as the engine that fuels job growth across the all three sectors and offers Maryland the greatest opportunity for commercializing promising research into life saving products.
Major federal departments, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are essential for promoting, funding and supporting Maryland’s life sciences. The report states, “the government’s own laboratories conduct much of the nation’s most significant life sciences research in Maryland, while administering programs that furnish additional training and experience to young researchers.”
“We often fail to include federal jobs in the discussion of traditional biotech activity, but the jobs at federal labs and agencies are similarly high-skilled and contribute to knowledge of life-saving and enhancing science,” McCrea said.
The relationship between the federal facilities and Maryland life sciences businesses is estimated to result in the second largest Maryland life sciences group with 29,777 jobs.
The third sector that contributes to Maryland’s successful life sciences industry is Maryland’s academic institutions. These institutions conduct research studies that further the innovation of the life sciences field.
In 2009, the report notes, Maryland colleges and universities conducted $1.45 billion in life sciences research and development. It is estimated that $1.45 billion in life sciences research at universities and college supports approximately 8,240 jobs and $694 million in salaries and wages. And in 2009, the Johns Hopkins University alone received $738 million for life sciences R&D, with $516 million for medical sciences and $197 million for biological sciences.
According to the report, the overall economic impact of the life science industry in Maryland, Maryland bioscience supported an estimated total of 160,030 jobs, $9.6 billion in wages and salaries and $500 million in tax revenues. The total job impact represents 6.5% of all Maryland jobs and 7.6% of all Maryland wages.