New Report Highlights Maryland Life Sciences’ National Strengths, Opportunities for Growth
FREDERICK, MD (October 4, 2021) — A new independent study finds that Maryland has built “one of the nation’s strongest life sciences industries” that directly employs more than 54,000 workers in the state. The report from the globally-recognized Milken Institute also identifies new opportunities for the public and private sectors to enhance Maryland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and to strengthen its workforce development strategies.
The report was commissioned by Maryland Life Sciences, a division of the Maryland Tech Council (MTC), Maryland’s largest technology and life sciences trade association. MTC shared the findings with hundreds of industry, academia, and policy leaders on Day 1 of the 2021 Bio Innovation Conference.
Entitled New Opportunities for Job Creation in Maryland’s Life Sciences Industry, the report identifies the following strengths:
- Maryland’s life sciences industry has a substantial footprint, directly employing over 54,000 people across a wide range of jobs in R&D, manufacturing, and laboratories—more than the number of workers employed in the state’s information or real estate industries.
- The state’s life sciences manufacturing sector expanded at one of the fastest rates nationwide (31 percent)
- Maryland has a high concentration of employment in R&D, and jobs in the scientific R&D sector account for roughly two-thirds of total industry employment
- Maryland has the world’s largest cell therapy manufacturing facility and leads the world in adult stem cell production and vaccine R&D, with 20 percent of the world’s top influencers in vaccine development.
The report also emphasizes that Maryland faces increasing competition from other states, and that new public and private initiatives are needed to grow the industry’s talent pipeline and enhance the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Workforce development recommendations include:
- Collaborate on developing an industry-certified training curriculum that maximizes the number of workers capable of meeting existing industry needs and that prepares prospective employees for occupations with future growth potential, particularly jobs that do not require four-year degrees.
- Increase awareness of life sciences career opportunities for residents in more rural counties through industry skills training extension programs hosted by community colleges.
- Support dedicated training programs and facilities for advanced biomanufacturing, especially cell and gene therapies.
Recommendations to enhance Maryland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and increase its attractiveness to venture capital include:
- Evaluate the feasibility of matching private funds raised by institutions of higher education to establish technology incubators and provide early-stage companies with greater resources—particularly lab and manufacturing space—that will support local job creation. These efforts could parallel the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund’s matching support for endowed university chairs.
- Explore the viability of additional region-specific incentives targeting the conversion of existing commercial or industrial spaces for use in small-scale, modular life sciences manufacturing.
“Maryland’s life sciences community is proud to be a national leader in life sciences discovery and innovation,” said Marty Rosendale, CEO of the Maryland Tech Council. “Our community also relishes the opportunity to get better, and this far-reaching report gives our public and private sectors a north star to follow as we seek to bolster our industry talent pipeline and our entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
“Maryland is an outstanding place to do business, and we are pleased to see this independent report recognizes our highly-educated workforce, research labs, and critical mass of life sciences assets,” said Kelly Schulz, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce. “I look forward to continuing the Hogan Administration’s close coordination with the life sciences community to make Maryland the foremost life sciences ecosystem in the nation.”
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