| Discovery is in our DNA
Discovery is in Virginia’s DNA
Founded in 1607 by a venture-backed company in London, Virginia has long been the destination of choice for entrepreneurs and start-up companies. That same tradition of discovery continues today with nearly 300 biotechnology and medical device firms who are expanding the frontiers of modern medicine.
In addition to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and biopharma companies with facilities in Virginia such as Pfizer, Merck, Novozymes, Abbott Laboratories, Boehringer Ingelheim, Teva Pharmaceuticals, ATCC and SRI International, the Commonwealth is also home to the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, one of the most advanced bioscience research institutes in the world.
Biotechnology is a vital contributor to Virginia’s economic growth. From 2001 to 2008, bioscience employment in the state grew by 23 percent, compared to six percent total growth statewide and 3.5 percent across all sectors in the U.S. And the number bioscience companies grew by 55 percent while growth in the private sector was 18 percent statewide and 14 percent across the U.S. All told, our state’s biotech sector generated products and services valued at more than $13 billion in 2008.
In 2011, Virginia made headlines passing the Refundable Research & Development Tax Credit, which recognizes the enormous upfront expenses biotech companies absorb during the arduous journey to market. Biotech firms are eligible for up to a 15 percent tax credit, or a cash refund, of their qualified R&D expenses, and up to 20 percent if the research is conducted with one of Virginia’s public or private universities.
But that is not all. Virginia offers a 100% capital gains tax exclusion for biotech investors, matches SBIR awards from the NIH, provides tax credits for angel investors, has a state funded seed-stage investment program and a stable corporate tax rate of only 6%.
You are welcome in Virginia, where discovery is in our DNA.
The Bioscience Industry in Virginia
The greatest concentration of companies, approximately 34%, is located in Northern
Virginia. The greater Richmond region is second with 30%, the Charlottesville area with
15%, Western Virginia with 14% and the balance located in Hampton Roads.
Based upon surveys conducted of Virginia’s biotech companies, more than half, 52%,
are focused on therapeutic products and 14% on diagnostics. The focus of the remaining
companies is divided among areas of concentration such as biodefense, bioinformatics
and agricultural biosciences.
According to the 2010 Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Initiatives Report, Virginia’s life science industry is growing faster than the state and national average for all industries:
According to a recent study by Archstone LLC, the bioscience industry has a profound impact on the state’s economy:
Virginia bioscience firms are responsible for more than fifty drugs either already on the market or currently undergoing clinical trials.
Click here for a map of bioscience organizations in Virginia.
Click here for a brochure about Virginia’s bioscience industry.
Access to Capital: Click here for a list of resources for Virginia bioscience companies seeking early-stage investment capital.
Research Partnerships and Technology Transfer Opportunities in Virginia
The Commonwealth is home to many internationally recognized research and development (R&D) facilities. Federally funded R&D facilities, coupled with the research from Virginia universities, provide Virginia businesses access to leading researchers and cutting-edge technology. From the biotech industry to medical devices to the next generation of alternative energy technologies, these research facilities have something to offer your business.
With more than 500,000 students enrolled in over 90 in-state institutions of higher education, Virginia is the ideal location for individuals seeking to excel and further their education. Virginia has several colleges and universities that have achieved national acclaim and have areas of studies lending great value to companies across the state. Additionally, the Virginia Community College System, comprised of 23 community colleges, located on 40 campuses around the state, provides occupational and technical training programs, many of which are designed specifically to meet the needs of nearby industries. In the 2007-08 academic year, community colleges in the Commonwealth awarded about 17,000 degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Virginia’s institutions of higher education offer exceptional diversity, ranging from public universities to small private liberal arts colleges.
* 15 public comprehensive institutions – 8 of which are doctoral institutions
* More than 50 private accredited four-year institutions
* 23 public community colleges and one public two-year college
* Vocational institutions and technical and workforce development centers
* More than 40 out-of-state institutions of higher education offering courses, and in some cases complete degree programs, at sites across Virginia
Click on the following links to see intellectual property that is currently available for licensing from Virginia’s research institutions.
Virginia Commonwealth University:
University of Virginia:
George Mason University:
College of William and Mary:
Old Dominion University:
James Madison University:
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Virginia is also home to one of the most advanced bioscience research institutes in the world. The Janelia Farm Research Campus (JFRC) of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) opened in October 2006. Located on a 689-acre property in Northern Virginia, the unique, world-class biomedical research complex represents a $500 million investment by HHMI, one of the largest medical research philanthropies in the world. The campus includes 760,000 square feet of laboratory space, in addition to facilities to support collaborations with scientists from around the world. JFRC emphasizes collaborative, technology-driven research in two broad areas: understanding how neuronal circuits process information, and developing new imaging technologies and computational methods for image analysis.
Virginia is home to many bioscience research parks and incubators dedicated to helping emerging life science companies get off the ground.
Virginia offers one of the most educated labor forces in the nation. With 90 colleges and universities and 23 community colleges, Virginia has the 11th largest higher education system in the U.S. Over 19,000 doctoral scientists and engineers are employed by Virginia companies, more than any other southeastern state and the eighth largest concentration in the U.S. Each year, nearly 3,000 bioscience-related degrees are awarded by Virginia colleges and universities.
The Virginia Biotechnology Association is one of the key founders behind the “Virginia Council on Advanced Technology Skills” (VCATS), an initiative designed to expand the pool of qualified advanced technology technicians and laboratory workers. Please click here for details.
Bioscience companies that locate research and development and manufacturing operations in Virginia come to find a low-cost business climate that provides efficiency in laws, regulations, tax structure and policies, enabling them to save time and money. Wage and payroll costs are significantly below the U.S. average.
Discoveries in biotechnology can significantly enhance our quality of life in many areas, from the food we eat, to the medicines we use, to the environment in which we live. This important research enables Virginians to develop new medicines and foods to improve the lives of our fellow citizens here in the Commonwealth and around the globe.