The Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences Cluster: An Economic and Comparative Assessment
Jun 01, 2005
Ross DeVol, Rob Koepp, Lorna Wallace, Armen Bedroussian and Daniela Murphy

The life sciences industry is an emerging powerhouse for U.S. global economic competitiveness in the 21st century. So which metropolitan areas are in the lead for this important engine of economic growth?

According to this study, Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Philadelphia have the most dynamic life sciences clusters in the country.

Encompassing biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, associated research and development activities, and supporting infrastructure - including research universities, teaching hospitals, medical laboratories and venture capital firms - life sciences is one of the most knowledge-intensive and research-rich sectors of the U.S. economy. It directly and indirectly supports millions of jobs and pays above-average wages to life science industry workers.

The study was sponsored by BioAdvance, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pennsylvania BIO and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's CEO Council for Growth, which asked the Institute to undertake the study to gauge the Greater Philadelphia region's standing compared to the other leading life sciences clusters in the U.S.

Researchers benchmark and assess the current position of the Greater Philadelphia life sciences sector relative to 10 other leading centers - Greater New York, Boston, Greater Raleigh Durham, Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Greater San Francisco, Seattle, Greater Los Angeles and San Diego - and estimate the total impact on the region's economy by calculating the multiple ripple effects, evaluate how it is positioned for future growth by investigating its ongoing ability to innovate, and formulate an overall composite for the life sciences.

The Greater Philadelphia life sciences cluster ranks among the elite centers in the country. Its life sciences industry is a clear potential source of comparative advantage for the region's economy over the long term and it ranks among the largest clusters in the country.

The study includes detailed statistics from the dozens of measurements examined by researchers in each of the 11 clusters.