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 2020 revealed the following data—the most recent available—on key metrics.

Making an Impact
Making an Impact
Making an Impact

Jobs: Arizona added 9,696 bioscience industry jobs between 2016 and 2018, an 8.3% growth rate, which outpaces the state’s overall job growth rate of 6.2% and the national bioscience job growth rate of 3.6%. There were 126,139 bioscience jobs in Arizona as of 2018, including 29,569 non-hospital bioscience jobs. The non-hospital bioscience job growth rate was 15% between 2016 and 2018 in Arizona, compared to 7.2% nationally. Job growth was seen in all industry subsectors with especially strong gains in drugs and pharmaceuticals and medical devices and equipment.

Wages: Wages increased 8.8% for bioscience workers in Arizona between 2016 and 2018. The $69,412 annual salary average is 35% higher than the average private sector job in the state. For non-hospital bio workers, a 10% wage increase pushed their average annual salary to $85,518.

NIH Grants: Arizona is at its highest level of NIH funding as a share of the U.S. total since Roadmap tracking began in 2002. The $263 million in research funding in 2019 also set a record high for the state for the second year in a row. The public universities received $214 million, with hospitals and research institutes at $32 million and bioscience companies at $17 million. In 2020, funding grew by 7% to a new record high of $282 million.

R&D Expenditures: University bioscience research and development grew to $628 million at Arizona’s three public universities in 2018, a 25% increase between 2016 and 2018 and the highest in the state’s history. That is double the U.S. growth rate of 12% for the same time period and double Arizona’s growth rate from 2014-16.

Venture Capital: Venture-capital funding for bioscience firms in 2019 reached a state record high of $198 million. The yearly average over the previous four years was $66.5 million. The 2019 figure represents 0.63% of bio venture capital in the United States—the highest percentage since 2014. Bioscience IT and medical devices each received 32% of venture-capital investments.

University Tech Transfer: Technology transfer saw a 51% growth in the number of U.S. patents issued. Of the 180 issued patents in 2018-19, nearly half were in bioscience. There were small declines in the number of bioscience startups from university technology (32), invention disclosures (531), and licenses (129).

Bioscience Jobs

A more detailed analysis of the latest data by TEConomy Partners is available in the presentation, “Biosciences in Arizona: 2020 Performance Review.” The current and past progress reports are also available for viewing.

The next data report is scheduled to be released in April 2022. 

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.