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California Biomedical Industry Defined

Here is the manifestation of the Golden State’s ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. Life sciences breakthroughs frequently have emerged from within California’s borders, and the biotechnology sector was conceived here. Today, the newest scientific and technological disciplines, such as personalized medicine, regenerative medicine, mobile health, and nanotechnology, are being driven by research, discoveries and developments within the state’s laboratories – both public and private.

Look no further than California’s biomedical industry for evidence of the unmistakable impact the University of California and California State University systems have. From the University of California have come graduates and postdoctoral fellows eager and prepared to found companies and to translate their discoveries and inventions into therapies for unmet medical needs. The California State University System and community colleges, often with the help of the state’s biomedical companies, have created curricula and facilities to train students to provide the technical and specialized expertise to bring new ideas to fruition – and make them accessible to patients and caregivers around the globe. Generations of investment into California’s primary, secondary and higher education institutions have provided vital support to the growth of the biomedical industry and to its future potential.

Today, the industry employs nearly 270,000 Californians. It relies on cross-functional teams of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, practitioners, process development specialists, general and administrative professionals, and manufacturing personnel. Not just “white coats,” the biomedical industry is staffed by workers across the socioeconomic scale with education levels ranging from high school diploma, some college, all the way to medical and doctoral degrees. In 2010, the industry paid its California-based personnel more than $20 billion at an average annual salary of more than $76,000.

The California biomedical industry generated revenues of approximately $115.4 billion in 2010. Its researchers and entrepreneurs garnered $3.2 billion in National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and $2.7 billion in venture capital investments. These funds have bankrolled biomedical inventions, leading to better care, longevity and quality of life for people the world over. These dollars have been put to work within California, to pay Californians now and to grow companies that will employ Californians in the future.

Biomedical salaries and investments also increase tax revenue for the local and state governments, further helping to drive the world’s eighth largest economy. The state of California continues to struggle with the country’s second-highest unemployment rate and a massive budget deficit. Governor Brown announced in December that California tax revenue will fall short of his earlier projections, triggering painful budget cuts to schools, colleges and services. The governor said revenue is projected to fall $2.2 billion short prompting about $1 billion in cuts.

California’s financial predicament would be lessened with a jolt of new job creation and economic growth. Up until the financial crisis of 2008, creating new jobs as well as technologies was a strong suit of the state’s biomedical industry. As data in this report indicate, the industry has endured the downturn relatively well in comparison to other industries and sectors. Its infrastructure remains mostly intact and could be reinvigorated to contribute even more

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