Bioscience is growing in state
Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 8:01 pm
MEMPHIS (AP) — Bioscience industries in Tennessee beat national averages in 2008 and 2009 and a report by a nonprofit says the business is a “legitimate star” in the local and national economies.
The Memphis Bioworks Business Association by Battelle, the nonprofit innovation advocate that originally identified Memphis’ strengths in biosciences in a 2003 study, issued those findings last week.
Senior director of Battelle’s Technology Practice Simon Tripp told The Memphis Commercial Appeal that bioscience related jobs accounted for one in four new jobs.
The bioscience sectors include agricultural feedstock and chemicals, drug and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment and research, testing and medical laboratories.
Employment in Tennessee’s bioscience industry grew 26 percent from 2001 to 2008, according to the study. In that time, the overall U.S. bioscience industry drew in 15.8 percent of new workers. Nearly 26,000 Tennesseans were directly employed in the industry in 2008, the study said.
Memphis has a high concentration of medical device companies like Medtronic, research institutions like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and drug companies like Accredo. But Tripp and Battelle’s study said Tennessee and Memphis have the highest concentration and growth in the agricultural feedstock and chemicals sector.
The sector focuses on the science, technology and planning of processing agricultural goods and the production of organic and agricultural chemicals, and makes products like ethanol from plants, fertilizers, food and feed additives.
Employment more than doubled in the agriculture bioscience sector, growing by 116 percent, in Tennessee from 2001-2008.