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According to a new report released by Maryland governor’s office, life sciences, also known as biotech, have become one of the State’s strongest and most stable industries, accounting for 6.5 percent of the State’s Gross Domestic Product and generating one-third of all job gains between 2002 and 2010.
The report found that Maryland has more than 1,700 life sciences establishments in the private sector - the 5th highest concentration in the nation. In total, Maryland biotech supported 71,600 jobs at federal agencies, higher education institutions and in the private sector. Workers in the life sciences industry earned, on average, more than $91,000 - 76 percent more than the average Maryland wage earner.
“Maryland’s life sciences industry continues to be one of our strongest economic drivers, creating high-paying jobs even in tough times and helping to feed, fuel and heal our planet with life-saving discoveries,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley in a statement. “These findings confirm that our State excels at innovation, research and discovery."
Research and development drove both job and wage growth between 2002 and 2010 with research testing and medical labs amounting to 74 percent of all life science jobs in Maryland, according to the report. Within the private sector, research testing and medical labs jobs grew at more than twice the rate of the rest of the sector combined, and added more than five times as many jobs. Drugs and pharmaceuticals represent 20 percent of all state life science jobs.
The Governor in 2009 launched BioMaryland 2020, 10-year, $1.3 billion strategy for moving Maryland’s bioscience industry forward. Over the past three years, roughly $164 million has been spent, or approved for spending, on BioMaryland initiatives, not including more than $100 million in science and technology related infrastructure at the State’s universities and community colleges, according to the governor’s office.