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Sector becomes 'pivotal industry' according to a new economic impact report from the Oregon Bioscience Association.

PMG FILE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - The biotech business is booming in Oregon. Oregon's biotechnology and life science sector is proving its resiliency, through recession and pandemic.

That's according to the Oregon's Bio Boom: 2022 Economic Impact Report, a comprehensive study by the Oregon Bioscience Association.

The report found the biotech and life science sector experienced significant and measured growth by almost every indicator in 2020, with a $15.6 billion output and $5 billion income — and providing almost 66,000 jobs across the state.

According to the findings, the private bioscience and life science research sectors generated $1.7 billion in local, state and federal taxes and fees.

Liisa Bozinovic is the executive director of the Oregon Bioscience Association.

"These are the highest numbers we've generated in the industry since we started measuring it here in Oregon nearly 20 years ago," Bozinovic said. "The consistent, upward trajectory story continues."

Average annual wages in the life science research institutions was $89,100 in 2020, which is 51% above Oregon's statewide private sector average, the study found.

It's also a diverse field. The study found in 2020, 75% of life science researchers were women, 45% of the total industry workforce are women, and about 33% of the total workforce are ethnic minorities.

Pinnacle Economics economist Alec Josephson worked on this and previous reports for the association.

"A few things jump out at me. Mainly, the substantial growth from the study we conducted three years ago shows bio is becoming a pivotal industry in Oregon's economy," Josephson said. "This importance is amplified as bioscience represents a diverse mixture of manufacturing, trade and service sectors which helps to insulate it from contractionary economic factors. Bioscience exports much of what it produces which, along with the substantial NIH funding and venture capital funding increases, bring significant new money here."

Josephson said economic multipliers have increased recently, and that every 10 jobs in bioscience support an additional 21 jobs in other sectors throughout the state, the report found. This also means every $1 million in income generated directly by bioscience is linked to another $1.2 million in income for other business owners and workers in other industries.COURTESY IMAGE: OREGON BIOSCIENCE ASSOCIATION - Here are some main impacts from Oregon's Bio Boom: 2022 Economic Impact Report, a comprehensive study by the Oregon Bioscience Association.

"From an economic impact perspective, the bioscience industry generates multiplier spending effects that benefit workers and business owners in other sectors of the Oregon economy," Johnson said. "The larger the multiplier, the greater the interdependence between the bio industry and the rest of the economy."

The report found that according to state and federal data for 2020, Oregon had 1,480 biotech establishments, which provided 22,690 bioscience and research jobs with $2 billion paid in direct wages that year. On average, wages in private corporate bioscience were $88,440, and were $89,100 in life science research in 2020.

Bozinovic said the study proves bioscience exists in nearly every Oregon county, with 39% operating outside of Portland.

"By any measure, Oregon's bioscience industry has grown consistently since 2002. For example, bioscience employment has almost doubled since the first study, which would rank it as one of the fastest growing major industry sectors in Oregon in that time frame," Josephson said. "Going forward, as in the last two decades, demographic changes suggest that the demand for the goods and services that bioscience produces will continue to push industry growth in Oregon."


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