Biotech council sees more industry growth
The state's biotechnology industry has grown significantly in recent years, though somewhat slower than hoped, according to a study released today by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.
Massachusetts has more than 40,000 biotech jobs, according to the council's 2015 Strategic Plan, up from about 30,000 in 2002. Another council report seven years ago predicted the industry could employ 60,000 by 2010 under "the right conditions." But that's unlikely now, given the lagging economy.
"We've not had the right conditions," said Terry Hisey, vice chairman and US life sciences leader for Deloitte LLP, the New York auditing and consulting powerhouse that helped prepare the latest study. Hisey said the global credit crunch has made it difficult for many firms to raise money from venture capitalists and other investors.
Nevertheless, Hisey said, Massachusetts has maintained its spot as one of the world's top biotech clusters and the industry is helping to fuel economic growth. The number of biotech companies in the state has increased from about 280 seven years ago to 400 today, he said.
"Massachusetts is creating jobs, importing jobs, growing talent, important talent -- all the things that are necessary for the viral growth of the industry," Hisey said. "People should be encouraged by the growth and the increase in numbers."
To continue expanding the industry, the report recommends the state continue to promote collaboration and innovation, improve access to capital, provide services to help companies become more efficient, assist companies in attracting, developing and retaining workers, and step up biotech's public marketing and advocacy work. The report comes less than a year after Governor Deval Patrick signed a $1 billion life sciences initiative to help create jobs in the life sciences, including biotechnology.
The council released the report, co-authored by LEK Consulting in Boston, at its annual meeting today.