Chicago, IL – The Research Triangle Region of North Carolina, home of Triangle North, remains among the nation’s leaders in life sciences industry jobs and salaries, according to a report issued today (May 3) at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) annual international convention in Chicago.

The study by Battelle Memorial Institute, “State Bioscience Initiatives 2010,” benchmarks how U.S. states and regions are faring in their efforts to attract companies and quality jobs in an increasingly competitive national and international environment during a challenging economic downturn. Battelle, the world’s largest independent research-and-development organization, has conducted the national industry review every two years since 2004.

“This study again demonstrates the steady growth and diversity of the Research Triangle Region’s life sciences cluster and the high rate of return for investments made by the region and the state of North Carolina over the past 25 years,” said Peter M. Pellerito of PMP Public Affairs Consulting in Chapel Hill, a contributing editor/author for the Battelle report.

“Dozens of U.S. states and foreign nations would love to have this diverse industry cluster,” Pellerito said. “What is especially noteworthy is the diversity of the industry in healthcare, agriculture and industrial applications in biology-based research, development and manufacturing. North Carolina’s state and regional lawmakers and economic developers can use this information as evidence of strong public/private partnerships as well as a reminder of what it will take to continue to compete in today’s global marketplace.”

Among the Battelle report’s key findings:

  • Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) accounted for 10,816 of the state’s 18,789 drug and pharmaceutical jobs in 2008. Those jobs paid an average annual wage of $74,829 and each job generated an additional 4.6 jobs for the state and regional economy.
  • Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill 2008 MSAs accounted for 12,988 research-and-testing company jobs at an average $75,829 annual wage in 2008. Those jobs generated an additional 2.6 jobs each for the state and region. 
  • Durham-Chapel Hill ranked first among mid-sized 2008 MSAs (those with employment of 75,000-250,000) for jobs in two core employment concentration sub-sectors of the nation’s life sciences industry: research, testing and medical laboratories jobs (8,270) and drugs and pharmaceuticals jobs (6,755). 
  • Raleigh-Cary ranked 4th in drugs and pharmaceuticals jobs (3,331) and 11th in research, testing and medical laboratories jobs (3,718) among large MSAs with total private employment of greater than 250,000.


“The report shows that the Research Triangle Region continues to be well positioned to compete,” said Charles A. Hayes, president and CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. RTRP coordinates economic development for the 13-county Research Triangle Region, which includes the four counties — Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren — that are home to Triangle North business parks.

“Novozymes has been part of the Research Triangle Region’s biotech community for more than 30 years,” said Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes North America, which operates major research-and-development and manufacturing operations in Franklin County. “It is the partnership of North Carolina’s state and regional leaders, the economic development community, private companies and the world-class university and community college system that has allowed our company to thrive.”

Among the state and region’s competitive assets for life sciences investment cited in the report were:

  • National Institutes of Health awards of $6.49 billion to North Carolina biomedical research centers during 2004-2009.
  • 579 U.S. Food and Drug Administration clinical trials for the 10 largest disease categories conducted in the state during 2009. 
  • 2,308 bioscience-related patents issued in North Carolina during 2004-2009.


“life science is a key driver of our region’s economy,” Hayes said. “We remain focused on taking the steps necessary to help our existing life sciences companies remain competitive and to attract new investment and jobs.”
 
The Battelle study may be downloaded at http://www.bio.org/news.

For more information on the Research Triangle Region’s life sciences cluster and opportunities for locating companies related to the cluster in one of Triangle North's four business parks, contact the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, (919) 840-7372, rtrp@researchtriangle.org.

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) is a public/private partnership that promotes economic development for the 13-county Research Triangle Region of North Carolina. The region comprises the north-central N.C. counties of Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren counties. RTRP coordinates the regional competitiveness plan, called The Shape of Things to Come. For more information, visit www.researchtriangle.org.

Triangle North is a network of four business parks located in Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties in the northern Research Triangle Region of North Carolina. The parks offer sites large and small, suitable for companies in a wide range of industry sectors, from life sciences and technology R&D and manufacturing to logistics and distribution. Companies who locate in any of the parks can receive a tax credit of $12,500 per job, the highest-level (Tier 1) of financial assistance available in the state. This provides highly affordable access for companies who want to locate or expand in the Research Triangle Region. For more information on Triangle North, visit www.TriangleNorthNC.org.

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