Recognizing Arizona’s strides in building a thriving biosciences sector, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has issued an official proclamation to declare Wednesday, October 27, 2010, as Arizona Bioscience Day.
The designated day coincides with one of Arizona’s major annual bioscience events, BioFest 2010, hosted by the Arizona BioIndustry Association. The event, to be held on October 27 at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, involves awards to individuals and organizations in Arizona biosciences, plus keynote presenters, a poster session, and exhibition hall.
“The biosciences are a proven example of the type of industry Arizona must cultivate in order to strengthen and diversify its economy,” said Martin Shultz, who chairs the steering committee overseeing Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the state’s long-term strategy to build its bioscience sector. “Since 2002, we’ve demonstrated rapid growth in high-paying jobs while providing Arizonans first access to cutting-edge health care advances.”
The proclamation cited the biosciences as one of the fastest-growing sectors of Arizona’s economy. Data show that bioscience jobs in Arizona have increased by 31 percent since the Roadmap was launched in 2002, compared to 12 percent for the U.S. The jobs are high-paying, averaging $55,750 compared to $41,920 for overall private-sector jobs. These statistics were provided by Battelle, the national technology consulting firm that provides research and facilitation for Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.
“On behalf of the Arizona bioscience community, I would like to thank Governor Brewer for designating a special day to honor the importance of Arizona’s bioscience sector,” said Robert Green, President & CEO of the Arizona BioIndustry Association, the state’s bioscience trade association.
“The Governor recognizes that the biosciences bring so much to our lives—diagnostics for the early detection of disease, therapies to address medical conditions, new and efficient energy sources, improved food supplies, to name just a few examples,” Green added. “This is in addition to significant economic development so critical to our state at this time.”
The proclamation also noted millions of dollars coming into Arizona through government and private grants. Since the Roadmap launched in 2002, Arizona has turned around its performance in generating grants from the National Institutes of Health, the gold standard for biomedical research grants. While Arizona was losing ground to other states prior to 2002, its growth rate in NIH grants outpaced the nation’s top-10 states during 2002-2008.
Overall, Arizona’s bioscience sector, with more than 89,000 jobs, annually generates $21 billion in total economic activity and $765 million in state and local taxes, according to a 2009 Battelle study.
“One of the keys to Arizona’s success in the biosciences is collaboration—we know how to work together across institutions and sectors,” said Shultz, Pinnacle West’s vice president of government affairs. “A great example is the 90-plus statewide bioscience leaders who serve on the Roadmap Steering Committee. They realized long ago that the state’s collective gain is to everyone’s benefit.”
The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based, private, nonprofit philanthropic endowment. It was established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn in 1965 with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. The nonprofit philanthropy supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the Flinn Scholars Program, and arts and culture in Arizona.