Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — April 12, 2011

Public Policy Institute study shows the biopharmaceutical sector should be a growth engine for New York's economy

ALBANY— Biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing holds great promise for economic growth in New York. If properly developed and supported this sector could be the engine driving an economic resurgence in New York. That is the finding of a new study by the Public Policy Institute, the research arm of The Business Council of New York State, entitled “New York Must Step Up Its Game: The Global Struggle for Biopharmaceutical Jobs”. This report looks at high paying jobs emanating from biopharmaceutical clusters and the high multiplier potential that these jobs have on the economy.

This report in effect lays down a challenge to public and private sector leaders, labor as well as business, academic health centers focused on research, as well as educators, to take the steps needed to expand New York's reach in this sector.

It establishes biopharmaceutical research and the attending job potential locked inside those clusters, as one of New York's best long-term growth strategies.

“To see just how important expanding this sector can be for New York, for every life-science research position New York creates or retains an estimated 3.458 jobs will arise,” said Heather Briccetti, acting president and CEO of The Business Council. “In addition, each manufacturing job in New York, translates into 9.359 jobs. Therefore, the inherent multiplier effect of biopharmaceutical jobs where melded into manufacturing hubs creates an engine for economic development.”

This sector also provides high paying jobs. Nationally, the average pay for a biopharmaceutical employee in the US for 2009 was $102,341. In New York State, the corresponding wage in this sector was $72,486.

The report also looks at the slow growth of this sector in New York compared to other industrial states as well as China and India. It provides a road map for what New York needs to do, to realize the fruits of this opportunity. It shows that this is a key moment in time when the New York's leaders must make growth of this sector a priority because we are in a global competition for these jobs.

Denis M. Hughes, President of the New York State AFL-CIO, said: "Biopharmaceutical jobs are worth pursuing because they are high paying and carry more bang for the buck as a multiplier of job development than any other sector in our economy. I urge policy makers to study carefully the growth potential outlined in this report. It is a blueprint for creating high-paying jobs and strengthening our state economy.”

Dr. James Weyhenmeyer, Professor of Biological Sciences and Senior Vice Provost, SUNY Central, said: "When the Archstone study was released two years ago, it pointed out how New York's biopharmaceutical clusters could promote scientific advances and create jobs by becoming engines of economic development. The PPI report released today confirms this potential and also shows how SUNY's contribution is critical. Chancellor Zimpher has made SUNY's commitment to New York's economic recovery a cornerstone of her strategic plan, and now it is the time for state officials to turn this extraordinary potential into reality for the benefit of all New Yorkers."

Kathleen Arntsen, President/CEO of the Lupus Foundation of Mid and Northern NY, said: “The development of the biopharmaceutical sector will certainly result in economic benefits for the state, but even more significant to us is the huge potential for medical research. We need a robust medical research program in New York State to promote basic, clinical, and translational research by enabling scientists to investigate disease pathogenesis and physiology, to develop biomarkers to improve diagnostic tests for early detection, to design better clinical trial methodologies, to develop safer, more effective therapies and ultimately, discover cures. For those of us affected by disease, research is our hope for brighter days and the promise of a better tomorrow; therefore, we urge state officials to consider the recommendations of the PPI report and take action.”

Dr. Nathan Tinker, Executive Director of the New York Biotechnology Association, said: “New York State has a tremendous opportunity to become an international leader in the biopharm sector. This report shows step by step how state leaders can take advantage of that opportunity for both scientific and economic benefit. These are all investments that would more than pay for themselves in the long run. These are investments that future generations will regard as well-conceived and wise.”

Laura Anglin, President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, commented on the report's focus on collaboration with higher education institutions: “Translational research is critical to driving economic growth in the biopharmaceutical industry. Research conducted at New York's independent colleges and universities and corresponding partnerships with industry is essential to developing new economic activity and creating jobs for the future.”

Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences, said: “New York State has tremendous assets in the biopharmaceutical industry. The PPI report shows how this strength could be easily leveraged in order to create more jobs and to advance scientific research. Many other countries and regions are launching exactly the sort of program that the report recommends. New York State should take note and act immediately.”

To read this report and the outline it provides to expand New York's biopharmaceutical jobs visit our website.