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Biosciences’ impact in Az: $12.5B

Citizen Staff Writer



Arizona’s bioscience sector posted $12.5 billion in state economic impact in 2007, and that figure is expected to continue to grow, according to a study released Tuesday.

Arizona had 87,417 bioscience jobs – 2.5 percent of total state employment in 2007 – paying $5.3 billion, according to the report prepared by Ohio-based Battelle Technology Partnership Practice for the Flinn Foundation in Phoenix.

The report is to be presented by Walter H. Plosila, Battelle senior adviser and consultant, at a luncheon at the Biozona 2009 conference in Phoenix.

“Between 2002 and 2007, economic activity within the bioscience sector increased 57 percent, jobs 20 percent and tax revenues 35 percent,” Plosila said in a statement released Tuesday morning. “This rate of growth is difficult to find elsewhere in the nation.”

Bioscience economic impact jumped from just short of $8 billion in 2002 to $12.5 billion in 2007. Sector jobs increased from 72,855 to 87,417, and bioscience payroll increased from $3.2 billion to $5.3 billion, according to the report.

State bioscience employment is projected to top 142,000 jobs by 2020 if industry and government leaders continue to make progress on Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, a 10-year plan launched in 2002 to make Arizona a biotech powerhouse.

The recession may slow expected progress.

“The economic turndown will clearly have an impact on reaching these numbers,” said Plosila, who leads the Roadmap research. “It affects the biosciences, just as it affects all industries.

“Arizona is on the right trajectory, though given the state of the global economy, it may take more time to realize these long-term gains.”

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