Since the launch of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap in 2002, the Flinn Foundation has commissioned Battelle (now TEConomy Partners) to track progress on performance measures involving the state’s bioscience sector. Data pertaining to a consistent set of metrics is gathered and reported publicly on a biennial basis. 

A Roadmap progress update by TEConomy Partners in April 2022 revealed the following data—the most recent available—on key metrics.

Making an Impact
Making an Impact
Making an Impact

Jobs: There are 133,000 total biosciences jobs in Arizona, with 34,000 of them non-hospital bioscience jobs. The industry’s job base grew 5.4% in Arizona from 2018-2020, more than tripling the U.S. growth rate of 1.4%. Over the past 20 years, the share of bioscience jobs among Arizona’s private sector has increased from 3.9% to 5.5%.

Wages: The average wage in 2020 for a non-hospital bioscience worker in Arizona was $92,000 per year and $76,000 for all bioscience jobs, including hospitals. Since 2018, salaries have increased 8.3% for non-hospital bioscience jobs and 9.4% for all bioscience jobs, slightly less than the national wage growth rate of 10.9% and 9.8%, respectively. Overall, a bioscience salary is about 30% higher than the average private sector wage in Arizona.

NIH Grants: Arizona hit a record-high $297 million in National Institutes of Health funding in 2021, a 5% increase over the previous year and more than double the $133 million from 2002. The state’s share of NIH funding—distributed to universities, hospitals, research institutes, and companies—stands at a record high of 0.85%.

R&D Expenditures: Arizona had $623 million in bioscience academic research and development expenditures in the latest reporting period, a 3.6% increase over the previous reporting period. However, this growth rate is below the national average and a decline from Arizona’s 25.3% growth rate between 2016-2018.

Venture Capital: The $240 million in venture capital investment in 2021 was the highest single-year amount since data reporting began and a 165% jump since 2018. Arizona’s average amount over the past three years was $155 million, compared to a total of $34 million in 2002. Arizona’s strengths were nearly divided equally between medical devices, bioscience IT and digital health, and health care services.

University Tech Transfer: In 2020-21, Arizona universities received 234 bio-related patents—an increase from 180 in the previous two-year period—with 52 bioscience startups emerging from the state’s three state universities, a 63% increase. In addition, Arizona had 173 licenses and options executed, a 34% increase, 569 invention disclosures, a 7% increase, and 642 patent applications, a 3% increase.

Bioscience Jobs

In April 2022, the Flinn Foundation hosted its annual event to share the new performance data, two decades after the launch of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap. The latest data can be found in this detailed analysis from TEConomy Partners, “Biosciences in Arizona: 2022 Performance Review.” The current and past progress reports are also available for viewing.

The next data report is scheduled to be released in April 2024. 

Data is tracked on the six industry subsectors that comprise Arizona’s definition of the biosciences. It should be noted that the industry data reflect only private industry; research-related jobs at state universities and private research institutions are not incorporated. Also, Arizona’s definition of the biosciences shifted with the updated Roadmap in 2014 to reflect changes in the national definition by Battelle and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Thus, these industry data do not correlate directly to those from the first decade. Details are available in Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, 2014-2025.

Data from earlier years is available on the First Decade page.