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Partnership Fund Releases New Report on Life Sciences in NYC

New Report: Commercial Life Sciences Can Be New York’s Next Big Industry

Jobs, Economic Activity Can Double with State/City/Industry Collaboration 

A new report released today by the Partnership Fund for New York City finds that New York’s life sciences industry is uniquely positioned for explosive growth. The report, titled ‘New York’s Next Big Industry: Commercial Life Sciences,’ contrasts the strength of the city’s research institutions and top scientists with its relatively small number of start-up companies, venture capital investments and jobs in life sciences. It calls for public and private actions to develop the facilities and funding needed to capture the economic benefits of New York’s rich research and clinical assets. To read the full report, visit http://pfnyc.org/our-research/commercial-life-sciences/.

The report, produced with the help of KPMG, finds that New York is about equal to Massachusetts and California when it comes to research grants and discoveries, but falls far behind when it comes to business activity, venture investment and jobs.  New York City currently has only 14,000 jobs in commercial life sciences, compared to over 50,000 in both Silicon Valley and Boston/Cambridge.

The report chronicles how, over the past twenty years, city and state government, as well as research institutions and private investors, have supported a number of projects — such as the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences, the Structural Biology Center and the New York Genome Center — designed to help catalyze the life sciences industry into a major New York employer. These activities reached critical mass in the past few years, attracting the interest of pharmaceutical companies, biotech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and specialized real estate investors from around the world.

“Today, New York is poised to become a significant player in one of the world’s most exciting and fastest growing industries.” said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. “Now we need to build an entrepreneurial sector in the life sciences like we have in digital media, through a combination of private investment and public policy and marketing initiatives.”

“The business community has an important role to play in ensuring that the city’s life sciences industry is as successful as this report indicates it can be,” said Partnership Fund Co-Chairman Chip Kaye, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Warburg Pincus. “As board members of the city’s leading health and academic institutions and as private investors, business leaders are uniquely positioned to promote increased investment in life sciences and to advocate for the public-private partnerships that are needed to grow the industry.”

“New York City institutions drive a great deal of innovation in the field of life sciences, yet they and the city don’t reap as much of the benefits as they can in terms of jobs and overall economic benefit,” said John Matthews, KPMG Strategy Leader for its Healthcare & Life Sciences practice. “We are hoping that private industry can better collaborate with some of the world’s leading researchers and academic institutions to propel scientific advancement and commercial activity.”

“New York City is well-positioned to become a global hub of commercial life sciences activity,” said Maria Torres-Springer, NYCEDC President. “We’re proud to have launched our Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initative and Digital Health Network, among many other initiatives, which have anchored and accelerated the growth of NYC’s early stage life sciences ecosystem. The Partnership Fund for New York City and KPMG’s report supports our belief in this industry’s potential to create local jobs, drive economic growth, and pioneer cutting-edge innovations for patients worldwide.”

“The New York City Regional Economic Development Council shares the vision of life sciences as a great opportunity for economic development throughout the region,” stated Winston Fisher, Co-Chair of the NYC REDC, a group charged with planning and setting state priorities investment in the New York City region.

The Partnership Fund and KPMG estimate that the New York Metropolitan Region’s life sciences industry could double in terms of jobs and economic out­put over the next decade if the right investments are made by the private and public sectors.

The findings of the report focus on the need for investment in four key areas:

  • Space: affordable and appropriately located wet lab space to accommodate companies both when they spin out of the university and then as they grow;
  • Talent: resources within the universities to support promising scientists who want to start companies and to identify talent to build those companies;
  • Capital: additional early-stage capital prepared to take high risk;
  • Promotion: better connectivity between the various stakeholders and a program to market New York’s assets.