Biotech, High-Tech to Spur California Growth
Sectors generate high-quality jobs and substantial economic returns
SANTA MONICA - 10/14/04 - California is well positioned to take full advantage of the rapid growth in the nation's biotechnology and high tech industries, according to a pair of studies published by the Southern California-based Milken Institute.
The biotechnology industry is one of the most sought-after business sectors by cities with biotech tagged as a "significant force in the state'../eWebPhotos/hightechemploy1.jpg" align=left vspace=15 border=0>economy," said the report - Bio-pharmaceutical Industry Contributions to State and US Economies.
The sector, it said, is expected to add more than 122,000 jobs and nearly $60 billion in real output to the US economy in the next 10 years.
California's biotech sector-based employment level reached almost 70,000 in 2003 with the industry generating more than $9.6 billion in real output.
"The industry's real output in California grew 328% from 1983 to 2003, compared to the real output growth of 230% in the nation," the report says, adding, "California's bio-pharmaceutical industry is deeply rooted in its academic life sciences institutions and clinical research facilities."
The heart of biotech activity in Northern California biotech and biomedical roster cuts an arc through the Silicon Valley and San Francisco to Greater Sacramento, while Los Angeles and San Diego serve as major international hubs for both private sector and academic biotech research activities.
Biotech, the report said, will be an even more effective engine of California's future economic growth "thanks to its promise of high-quality jobs and substantial economic returns."
The same can be said of the state's high-technology and science sectors, according to a second report published by the Santa Monica-based think tank.
California, said the report, is set to reap the benefits from its sizable, long-term investments in high technology and science.
The report ranked every state according to 75 metrics, including the amount of venture funding local companies and universities received last year, the number of residents with doctorates, and the number of businesses that started or failed there.
The top performers in the Institute's study - an update to the original in 2002 - were Massachusetts followed closely by California.
Ross DeVol, the Institute's director of regional economics, said he wasn't surprised Massachusetts and California led the pack, given the concentration of tech workers and venture firms in the Boston area and Silicon Valley.
But, he stressed that politicians and business leaders in both state's shouldn't rest easy as Colorado, Maryland and Virginia were nearly tied for third place, with Rhode Island, Vermont, New Mexico, and Tennessee showing the most significant improvements.
Regional planners "should boost biotechnology and life sciences funding to universities and offer tax incentives and other deals to woo tech firms," DeVol said, dismissing concerns about offshore outsourcing, the migration of white-collar jobs to relatively low-paid workers in India, China and other developing countries.
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