Alabama Tops Lists in New Bioscience Industry Report

TECONOMY-graphic-alabamaSAN FRANCISCO, California – The bioscience industry in Alabama is strong and growing according to the TEConomy/BIO The Value of Bioscience Innovation in Growing Jobs and Improving Quality of Life 2016 Report released Tuesday at the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco, California. A contingent of Alabama executives and BioAlabama leaders were at the convention for the release of the report.

The biennial report measures state biosciences development on key indicators of industry health such as employees and companies, average wages, academic R&D expenditures, venture capital investments, and number of patents issued.

Nationally, 77,000 biotech companies employed 1.66 million people in 2014, with job growth nearly double that of total private sector job growth. Average annual wages for jobs in the bioscience industry were $94,543– far exceeding the average annual wage of $51,148 of the total private sector.

In Alabama, bioscience industry employment totaled nearly 14,000 in 2014 across 808 companies and organizations. Bioscience generates over 70% of total science and engineering investments, ranking the state among the top 10 in the nation for the highest concentration of academic bioscience research and development expenditures. Alabama also ranked among the top 10 states for growth in funding from the National Institutes of Health, totaling $280 million in 2015, a 10.7% increase from 2012 to 2015. This funding has been supported by $101 million in venture capital investment into the state since 2012.

“The biotechnology and life sciences industries have proven their value in generating important
innovations that improve quality of life and creating high paying jobs in our state,” said Ted Clem, Director of Business Development for the Alabama Department of Commerce. “We are encouraged to see our work in the bioscience industry validated in this report and remain focused on bringing more bioscience companies and jobs to the state.”

Three key sectors have driven bioscience job growth: drugs and pharmaceuticals; medical devices and equipment; and research, testing, and medical laboratories. Also, several metro areas across Alabama ranked highly on key performance measures.

Auburn-Opelika, AL was highlighted as one of only 32 metro areas across the country with
specialization in at least three of five bioscience subsectors. Mobile, AL was noted as having the sixth highest specialization in agricultural feedstock and chemicals for medium markets. Decatur, AL ranked ninth in the same sector for small market areas. Huntsville, AL ranked eighth in research, testing, & medical laboratories in medium market areas, and eleventh in drug & pharmaceutical specialization.

“This report demonstrates the growing importance of biotechnology to our state economy,” said Carter Wells, board member of BioAlabama and vice president for economic development at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. “We will continue to foster that growth and build biotech in Alabama through discoveries at our research leaders–UAB, Auburn, Southern Research, USA, and HudsonAlpha, among others. Those discoveries lead to new industry and new jobs. We are pleased to be able to market our existing biotechnology companies and research institutes at BIO International to business leaders from around the globe.”

To view the full report, visit