Bioscience industry on the rise in Wisconsin

The state’s bioscience industry is on the rise, employing nearly 35,000 in 2016.

That’s according to a new report from the national Biotechnology Innovation Organization, which highlights the $2 trillion impact the industry has on the country as a whole.

It shows Wisconsin has been performing above the national average for bioscience employment, with a 5.8 percent increase in these jobs between 2013 and 2014. At the same time, the number of bioscience companies in Wisconsin grew by 13.4 percent, to 1,382.

And growth in both of those areas surpassed the national average since 2014, report authors note.

Both Madison and Milwaukee help solidify the state’s bioscience industry. Madison was one of eight cities nationwide that have specializations in four bioscience sectors, while Milwaukee had the fifth highest concentration of jobs in medical devices and equipment in the country.

In fiscal year 2016, Wisconsin’s academic R&D expenditures were dominated by the health sciences sector, with $531.2 million.

That was followed by biological and biomedical sciences, $259.9 million; agricultural sciences, $73.5 million; bioengineering/biomedical engineering, $38.2 million; life sciences and other, $11 million; and natural resources and conservation, $700,000.

The report shows National Institutes of Health awards climbing steadily from 2014 to 2017, reaching $424.9 million last year.

“These federal funds represent a key funding source for the state’s $914 million in academic biosciences R&D expenditures,” report authors said.

It also shows variance in the amount of bioscience-related venture capital investments in the state. That number was $41.8 million in 2014, $121.8 million in 2015, $95.1 million in 2016 and $37.7 million in 2017.

The number of bioscience patents coming out of the state has been relatively stable, hovering around 700 since 2014. The majority of these patents are for medical and surgical devices.

The report, titled “Investment, Innovation and Job Creation in a Growing U.S. Bioscience Industry 2018,” was released at the BIO International Convention in Boston.

Download the full report here:

See Wisconsin-specific data here:

By Alex Moe