Key Takeaways from BIO 2024

Michael Haley, WCED Executive Director and Kyle Touchstone, Director of Raleigh Economic Development recently traveled to San Diego, California to attend the Bio International Convention. BIO is the largest and most comprehensive event for biotechnology, representing the full ecosystem of biotech with more than 18,500 industry leaders from across the globe.

Wake County is in the middle of one of the world’s largest life sciences clusters, with 600+ companies employing over 38,000 highly skilled workers. Thanks to this, the region is recognized far and wide as a global leader in life sciences and biotechnology. Along with partner organizations like the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and NC State University, Kyle and Michael represented Wake County’s life science ecosystem of companies, startups and innovators.

The conference only reinforced our position regarding the strength of Wake County’s life science sector. Here are 3 Key Takeaways.

1. Life science in the Research Triangle region and Wake County comprises a globally competitive ecosystem. There are over 600 leading life science companies in Wake County and 38,000 people employed by these firms. The region was recently named the #1 biomanufacturing metro in the nation by JLL.

2. The concentration of R&D in Wake County and across the region is propelling innovation in life sciences. Every year, UNC, NC State and Duke University lead over $2.5 billion in research. That makes us the #2 metro for all R&D conducted at universities per $1,000 of GDP. That’s 2.5 times more than Boston and 4.5 times more than San Francisco. According to the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s annual Venture Report, startups around the Raleigh metro and Triangle region have raised over $12.5 billion in venture capital over the last 5 years.

3. Wake County and the region have one of the highest concentrations of life science employment in the US. Raleigh-Durham was ranked the #2 market for density of “core” life science R&D operations in the country by CBRE. “Core” life science R&D occupations include biochemists, biophysicists, bioengineers, biomedical engineers, biological scientists and biological technicians. CBRE notes that the Research Triangle region has a notably high concentration of such coveted talent compared to the relative size of the metro.

Wake County’s life science ecosystem is a world leader because of the alignment of our Tier 1 Research Universities—NC State, UNC, and Duke—to support R&D, our workforce development infrastructure of Wake Tech and Capital Area Workforce Development, and the innovations fostered by university spin outs, entrepreneurs, startups, and large global firms.  To learn more about Wake County and the Research Triangle’s life science ecosystem, click here.



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