Michigan Bioscience Industry—A Major Economic Bright Spot


Waterford, Mich., February 09, 2009 – With Michigan in the midst of serious economic trouble, the bioscience industry is bringing new hope to Michigan’s economy.

A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan shows the economic promise the bioscience industry holds for the state. The first of its kind study details the full impact of the industry on Michigan’s economy and the growth and diversification it can provide.

“Bioscience is a key component of both our Emerging Sectors and Medical Main Street initiatives and has been an important focus for us over the past four years,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “We already have a solid foundation in the bioscience industry. This is the direction Oakland County and Michigan needs to take.”

Bioscience is already a “big business” in Michigan. Private bioscience industry payrolls totaled nearly $2.5 billion in 2007, and university life science research expenditures in fiscal year 2007 were $897 million. Bioscience also contributes impressive numbers to the Gross Regional Product (GRP) which is the local counterpart of Gross Domestic Product for the U.S. Economy. The total GRP contribution of private bioscience and academic research in Michigan is $9.34 billion. This generated $462.05 million in state government revenues in 2006.

“Even though we have experienced turmoil in the industry, the entrepreneurial spirit has helped us develop new start-ups across the state” said Stephen Rapundalo, President and CEO of MichBio. “However, we cannot take our eye off the ball and reduce our commitment. We are poised for further growth as long as we maintain a positive focus with our policies and initiatives.”

A stable industry is inspiring news for Michigan workers. The state has been losing jobs since mid-2000 and is currently seeing its longest stretch of employment decline since 1939. The bioscience industry, however, has been combating this problem. An estimated 6,213 direct jobs were created in Michigan by life science research and development expenditures, with total direct bioscience employment around 40,086. The spin-off creates an additional 58,721, for a total contribution of 98,807 jobs from bioscience in Michigan.

The bioscience industry also features a highly compensated workforce. The 2007 average wage in Michigan for all private bioscience ($73,930) was more than 70 percent above the average for all private-sector workers.

“Bioscience has the potential to be one of the drivers in Michigan’s future economic development.” said University of Michigan economist George Fulton. “Unlike some other states, Michigan has the assets to support and grow bioscience, particularly with the presence of its major research universities and associated initiatives.”

Still, these numbers do not include the more intangible benefits that a vibrant bioscience industry would bring to the state, such as contributions to science, start-up firms, and health care, as well as the attraction of other establishments to Michigan.