Report Reveals Midwest As Most Vibrant Bioscience Hub

iBIO President and CEO David Miller announced that a new independent study has ranked the Midwest at the top of the nation’s biotechnology industry, and Illinois is at the core of the most vibrant bioscience hub in the U.S. The announcement was made to the world biotechnology community at the BIO International Convention in Chicago and cites ”The Economic Engine of Biotechnology in Illinois,” a new report from iBIO and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, conducted by Ernst & Young LLP.

“This comprehensive report by Ernst & Young quantifies the size and scope of our Illinois biotech sectors and their profound impact on job and tax contributions here,” said Miller. “The report shows not only that Illinois is a remarkably diversified biotech powerhouse, but also that our state is at the heart of a Midwest region that easily holds its own with either coast.”

The report demonstrates that Illinois stands out as a significant player in the biotechnology industry in three ways. First, Illinois is at the core of the most vibrant bioscience cluster in the U.S.; second, biotechnology is a critical component and driver of the state’s economy; and third, the State of Illinois is committed to fueling this growth and advancing the biotechnology industry.

The Midwest Super Cluster, which includes Illinois and the surrounding eight-state region, surpasses California and the East Coast in biotechnology-related employment, number of establishments and research and development expenditures according to “The Economic Engine of Biotechnology in Illinois.” The report, offers four key findings:

  1. Within the Midwest Super Cluster there are more than 16,800 biotechnology establishments employing more than 377,900 people. By comparison, California has 7,500 biotechnology establishments that employ 230,000 people, and the East Coast cluster employs 253,000 among its approximately 7,100 biotechnology establishments.
  2. The overall economic output of Illinois’ biotechnology industry is more than $98.6 billion with 81,000 direct jobs and more than 3,500 biotechnology companies in the state. In fact, Illinois residents employed by biotechnology companies earn up to 91% more than the average Illinois resident. The biotechnology industry in Illinois has demonstrated the strongest revenue growth in recent years among all of the states analyzed in this study, an average annual growth of 13.3%.
  3. During the past decade, the top seven universities in Illinois have steadily increased their research and development expenditures, creating new opportunities for biotech startups. Expenditures have nearly doubled since 2001, growing from $727 million to more than $1.3 billion.
  4. The ability to secure early-stage funding is spurring innovation and growth among startup biotechnology companies in Illinois. Venture capital funding in Illinois has seen a 209% increase between 2009 and 2012.

Ernst & Young LLP conducted direct interviews with senior industry leaders throughout the Midwest region to create the report. Data was also gathered from reports by Battelle Memorial, information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Science Foundation, various university technology transfer offices, biotechnology organizations, publicly available data sources and reports, as well as proprietary databases. The nine-state Midwest Super Cluster includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Dan Shoenholz, a Principal in Ernst & Young’s Life Sciences Commercial Advisory Services Practice, led the study.

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