25 Mar Thrive releases first annual sector snapshot: Biotechnology
MADISON — Thrive is releasing the first of its annual Sector Snapshots, a review of the strengths of each of Thrive’s target sectors (agriculture, biotechnology and healthcare) in the Madison Region. These sector snapshots draw a picture of the strengths and opportunities of each sector in the region, with specific target sector data.
These reports are sector‐specific sector‐specific supplements (or “drill downs”) to the overview regional data provided in Thrive’s annual State of the Madison Region report, released in December (www.thrivehere.org/regionalmetrics).
The first report released this week is the Biotechnology Sector Snapshot.
Fast facts from the report:
- There are 166 biotechnology firms in the Madison Region focused primarily on research and development (R&D), drugs or medical devices. When the list is expanded to include additional bioindustry categories, the number increases to 257 firms.
- The region’s biotech sector grew 95% from 2000 to 2007, increasing from 2,900 jobs to over 5,700. The broader bioindustry set of companies employs over 10,000.
- In 2007, the sector growth in the Madison Region increased to 34% of the state’s employment in the sector, up from 22% in 2000.
- The region’s biotech firms are predominantly small. Over 70% of our biotech firms employ fewer than 20 employees. However, the Madison Region is also home to established industry leaders including Covance with over 1,000 employees, and eight other companies employing over 250.
- Career opportunities in the biotech field have a wide range of educational requirements, from some short‐term training to associates degrees, and up to graduate degrees. Average salaries range from the mid‐$20s to the mid‐$90s based on level of education. The Madison Region boasts both the MATC biotechnician program and the UW’s Master of Science in Biotechnology, the first of its kind in the nation.
- While average wages per worker are in the mid‐ to upper‐ $60,000 range, the real value added benefit of a Madison Region biotech worker employed in R&D, drugs or medical devices is $114,000 per worker compared to $65,000 for all other industries. “Value‐add” figures are calculated with the use of multiplier economic models that includes more than just wages.
Cheryl Gain, Thrive’s Director of Biotechnology Initiatives, focuses her time on efforts that will help grow the biotech sector in the region. In the past year, that has included coordinating the Wisconsin Growth Capital Coalition to help expand the state’s investor tax credit program (Act 255) and making sure the region has a strong collaborative presence at prominent bio events like the World Stem Cell Summit, hosted in Madison last September, and the international BIO convention, planned for Atlanta this May 18‐21.