Austin has a history of technology successes. From semiconductors to software and hardware, there’s a legacy of industry achievement and skills that have the city positioned to become instrumental in the growth of another key sector: Life Sciences. With an estimated annual impact of $75 billion to the Texas economy, there’s plenty at stake. Cities now compete on a global scale and realize that strong, specialized industries help major metros like Austin attract the kind of high-wage jobs and skilled workers necessary for sustained growth.
Our data shows the concentration of Texas companies is more than a nascent cluster. Half of the companies in our survey (51%) have moved beyond the IP creation, prototype, and preclinical signposts and have products in the pipeline or on the market to attract investors.
Employment numbers for Life Sciences point to not only consistent growth, but resiliency. Between 2001 and 2010, the industry saw jobs grow by 6.4%, an overall increase of 96,000 jobs, with private sector employment dropping by almost 3% over the same period. Even with favorable job growth and a highly visible sector, Life Sciences has its own set of challenges outside of the traditional IT ecosystem. From regulatory shifts to funding and talent acquisition, ATC’s recent survey (Figure 2 ) underscores the growing need to unify Austin’s Life Science executives.
Tom Kowalski, president of Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI), commented on the industry’s goals and the importance of timing in a recent ATC release.
“What we’re trying to do in Texas is create an environment for research/development and manufacturing in life sciences. This is a critical juncture to ensure the availability of the funds, talent and facilities needed to invigorate the industry.”
ATC will continue to actively recruit and promote the growth of this vital sector and welcomes industry leaders to join us as Austin’s Life Science industry moves forward.
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