Bioscience in Virginia
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 over 300 bioscience firms who are expanding the frontiers of modern medicine.
Global biopharma companies such as Pfizer, Merck, Novozymes, Abbott Laboratories, Teva Pharmaceuticals, ATCC and SRI International have Virginia facilities. Scores of entrepreneurial emerging bioscience companies dot the landscape across the state. The Commonwealth is also home to the National Science Foundation and 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 economy, and a key to its future growth. The biopharmaceutical sector accounts for 11,000 direct jobs, and a payroll of approximately $1 billion per year. It creates another 25,000 jobs in Virginia indirectly in the companies and professionals in service and support of the sector. And these are good jobs, with average pay more than 50% greater than the average for all industries. The industry is growing faster than others, as well. 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 the tougher economic times of the last several years, Virginia bioscience job growth and company formation continued to outpace state and national averages.
Virginia public policy is pro-business and pro-investment, and the Commonwealth consistently ranks at or near the top of best states to do business. In addition, state policy makers have put in place select tax incentives, grants and investment programs to support entrepreneurship, innovation and investment in the biosciences, recognizing the enormous upfront expenses biotech companies absorb during the arduous journey to market and the enormous potential benefit to society.
The Commonwealth is home to a wide array of educational institutions, including major research universities offering world class talent, resources, partnerships and innovations, some of the premier colleges in the nation, and a community college system that blankets every region of the state with responsive workforce training.
You are welcome in Virginia, where discovery is in our DNA.
The Bioscience Industry in Virginia
Click here for a brochure about Virginia's bioscience industry.