NSF: States’ increase R&D spending; surpasses $2.5 billion in FY 2017

States invested $1.1 billion into health-related R&D expenditures in FY 2017 according to the newest results from the annual survey of state government R&D, conducted by the National Science Foundation.  Increasing by 13 percent from the previous year, health-related R&D helped push overall state government spending on R&D up by 7 percent over the 2016 figures. State investments in energy-related R&D, on the other hand, dropped by 16.6 percent ($61 million) to a total of $307 million in FY 2017. The following chart shows the distribution of all states’ R&D expenditures across sectors or functions.

Biosciences industry has $2.0 trillion economic impact, report finds

The U.S. biosciences industry directly employs 1.74 million people and indirectly supports $2.0 trillion in economic output and roughly 8 million jobs nationwide, according to "Investment, Innovation and Job Creation in a Growing U.S. Biosciences Industry," a new report by TEConomy Partners on behalf of the trade association BIO. The report, released at BIO’s annual conference last week, finds that biosciences venture capital investment is reaching new highs, while overall innovation ecosystem strength and patent activity is bolstered by increasing NIH budgets and growth in academic R&D. The report’s authors also take an in-depth look at the industry, its components, its contributions to the national economy, and the state and metropolitan areas where it is most concentrated.

Life sciences industry growing in Midwest, Philadelphia

The Midwest and the Greater Philadelphia region have found pathways to build strong life sciences industries and create environments that provide the necessary risk capital for healthcare startups. These life sciences clusters are driven by leading healthcare companies, high quality health systems, and top notch research institutions as well as strong entrepreneurial support ecosystems. The region’s startup ecosystem saw 375 life startups attract over $1.7 billion in investments in 2016, according to the Midwest Healthcare Growth Capital Report from BioEnterprise, a Cleveland-based biomedical accelerator. 

New manufacturing hubs awarded in NY, NH

Two new hubs have been announced in the Manufacturing USA network, one focusing on sustainable manufacturing innovation and the other on tissue biofabrication, bringing the total network of institutes to 13 since its inception four years ago.

Cures Act Provides Research Funding, Direction

The 21st Century Cures Act was signed by President Obama on Tuesday and is broadly intended to facilitate the research, development and transfer of medical discoveries in order to better-address diseases affecting American people. While the bill has received mainstream coverage for its bipartisanship – the core authors were two Democrats and two Republicans – and billions in new research spending – more than $5 billion in authorizations – the text also contains potentially significant changes for federally-supported medical research policy.

Research Institute Struggles Raise Questions About Big Dollar Recruitment Approaches

Because a research base that generates new knowledge is a key pillar of a technology-based economy, an important strategy in technology-based economic development is the expansion of research capacity. While states may go about addressing this in a variety of ways (e.g., R&D tax-credits, university-industry partnerships, recruiting eminent scholars), Florida drew national attention when it took a different approach last decade, allocating more than $450 million to attract nine research institutes through its Innovation Incentive Program (IIP). Recently, one of those attracted institutes, the San Diego-based Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute – which received approximately $367 million in state and local incentives to open an Orlando location – announced that it was having discussions with the University of Florida to exit the state and turn the Florida operations over to the university.

BIO Releases Reports on Industry Economy, Venture Capital

In the lead-up to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s (BIO) International Convention held this week, the organization released a series of reports on the health of the industry. Collectively, the reports indicate that the bioscience industry is seeing greater employment with better wages, increasing venture investment, but university and federal funding, patent filings and clinical trial success are leveling off or decreasing.

Burgeoning Indiana Biosciences Research Institute Receives $100M in Grants

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), first unveiled in May 2013, is a statewide public-private partnership advanced by BioCrossroads that considers itself the first industry-led collaborative life sciences research institute in the country. Late last month, the institute announced two new grants totaling $100 million that would support scientific innovation addressing metabolic disease and poor nutrition. 

Heartland Metros Launch Collaborative Economic Initiative

Leaders in Des Moines, Kansas City, Omaha and St. Louis have teamed up to leverage their respective resources and help build an economic mega-region in the center of the country. The Heartland Civic Collaborative will focus on four main areas of opportunity: transportation, federal advocacy, life science and entrepreneurship. In the coming months, the collaborative plans to begin work on an entrepreneurial metrics dashboard for the participating metros and a map of life sciences research assets. The group also plans to improve the research commercialization pipeline for biomedical and bioenergy research. The initiative’s first event, around transportation futures, will be held next month. Learn more at:

Venture Investors Flock to Silicon Valley Biotech

Biotech is in the midst of an investment boom, at least in Silicon Valley. In the first quarter of this year, biotech firms in the region raised $574 million, the third highest quarter on record, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and reporting by the San Jose Mercury News. This peak represents a 103 percent increase over the same quarter the previous year. Nationwide, the sector is poised to attract a record-setting $7 billion this year, according to Bloomberg Business. However, Silicon Valley's biotech boom is less apparent in other parts of the country.


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