Pennsylvania is a National Leader in the Life Sciences Industry

Pennsylvania is a national leader in the life science industry and home to a cohesive community that unites biotechnology, medical device and diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, research institutions and holds significant financial strength.

The new model of the life science industry and evolving landscape present opportunities to link scientists, entrepreneurs, funding, programs, and policy makers in creating solutions and policies that will grow and sustain the innovation infrastructure; launching new companies and creating jobs that have significant impact to human health globally.

Pennsylvania Life Sciences Industry Economic Impact Report

Key Findings

Life Sciences in Pennsylvania

Small Business Oriented: More than half of the Life Sciences industry establishments operating in Pennsylvania in 2016 are comprised of fewer than 10 employees.

Uneven Growth: Between 2011 and 2016, Pennsylvania experienced modest Life Sciences employment growth in comparison to peer states. This is primarily due to a decline in pharmaceutical manufacturing in the Commonwealth and concurrent gains in research, testing and medical laboratories. While two peer states, New Jersey and Indiana, experienced a decline in Life Sciences industry employment over this period, all other peer states grew more rapidly than Pennsylvania.

Research Excellence

Funding Leader: Pennsylvania had the highest 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) funding rate in comparison to peer states and was awarded the second highest NSF & National Institute of Health (NIH) funding per capita in comparison to peer states.

Patented Contributions: Pennsylvania was a top contributor to innovation, boasting recipients of 4,317 patents over the prior 5 years, among the top 5 states nationally.

Academic Contributions

Acclaimed Universities: The Commonwealth was home to 7 of the top 100 universities ranked in 2016 according to the Shanghai Index, including 2 universities in the top 100 Biological Sciences Program.

Producing the Next Generation of Experts: Pennsylvania universities conferred a doctorate degree to 578 recipients, ranking 4th highest in the nation during 2015.

Attracting Capital

A Need for Investment: During 2016, Pennsylvania only secured $147 million in venture capital (VC) funding, ranking 13th nationally. A lack of venture capital may serve as a limiting factor for the Life Sciences industry in Pennsylvania, as companies that are unable to secure sufficient funding early in their lifecycle may be unable to stage significant expansions necessary to become dominant in their industries.

Economic Contribution

Job Provider: The Life Sciences industry in Pennsylvania directly employed 112,000 people during 2016 and was responsible indirectly for an additional 230,000 jobs through business purchases and household expenditures.

Generating Output: The industry generated a total (direct and indirect) state economic output of $88.5 billion, comprised of a direct economic impact of $48.8 billion and indirect economic impact of $39.6 billion.

Commonwealth Support

Well Developed Support: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers several supportive incentive programs across various industries which are often utilized by companies in the Life Sciences industry.