Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — November 16, 2011

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

BUFFALO — 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 study by the Public Policy Institute (PPI), 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 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 job potential locked inside those clusters as one of New York's best long-term growth strategies.

“It's critical to foster university-industry partnerships in order to grow our state's biopharmaceutical sector and move New York's economy in the right direction,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president and CEO of The Business Council. “The University at Buffalo — notably the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences — is setting a precedent for the industry through its life sciences innovations and top-notch research.”

This sector also provides high paying jobs. Nationally, the average pay for a biopharmaceutical employee in 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 utilize this opportunity. PPI's report shows that this is a key moment in time when New York's leaders must make growth of this sector a priority because we are in a global competition for these jobs.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economy,” said Dr. Lyn Dyster, vice president of operations at Kinex Pharmaceuticals. “My company, Kinex Pharmaceuticals, is one such business. We applaud the Public Policy Institute for calling on the state to incentivize companies to locate here in New York and to provide the types of investments so that small companies like mine can grow and thrive.”

“New York State has a tremendous opportunity to become an international leader in the biopharm sector,” said Dr. Nathan Tinker, executive director of the New York Biotechnology Association. “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.”

“In a highly competitive research based economy, partnerships between industry and our higher education institutions are critical,” said Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. “Nowhere is the potential for success of these partnerships clearer than here in Western New York. The University at Buffalo is on the cutting edge of research and development and their efforts have already begun to foster new companies, greater investment, and high paying jobs. I am firmly committed to enacting policies that further this collaboration so that New York State can be a leader in the biopharmaceutical sector.”

“I found the results of the Public Policy Institute's study to be validating,” said Assemblyman Robin Schimminger. “The results confirmed that New York State does indeed have great potential to develop into an international leader in the biopharmaceutical industry. We possess the necessary tools to expand the biopharm sector, and it's in the State's best interest to utilize these resources to their fullest potential and make growing the biopharmaceutical industry a top priority.”

The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. is a research and educational organization whose purpose is to formulate and promote public policies that will restore New York's economic competitiveness. T

he Institute accomplishes this mission by conducting timely, in-depth research addressing key state policy issues. Founded in 1981 and affiliated with The Business Council of New York State, Inc., the Institute is a non-partisan, tax-exempt, 501 (c) (3).