Texas economy

Texas economy reaps bioscience boon

The Texas economy has set the standard for economic growth, leading the country in major new business locations for the past 10 consecutive years. The population is also diverse and growing, which is not the case in many parts of the country. We are also witnessing the continued emergence of industries in the state as the business environment encourages growth. One segment where Texas once lagged other regions was in biosciences and related manufacturing. Well, folks, that has changed.

Texas has world-class health care facilities, research organizations, research universities, research laboratories, and medical schools. In fact, the largest medical center in the world and the largest military medical complex in the country are located here. The state has the best medical schools and research universities, a large and growing technology sector, excellent research laboratories, a culture of innovation, and a regulatory environment conducive to progress. The result is the emergence of a dynamic medical research and technology sector.

Texas also has catalysts for growth, such as the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). CPRIT has been overwhelmingly supported by Texas taxpayers, who voted twice to provide approximately $6 billion in funding for cancer research and screening. The institute has attracted leading scholars and researchers, improved cancer outcomes and generated billions in economic benefits. Another example is Pegasus Park, which includes an incubator for new biotech industries. Additionally, the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute has supported the state’s efforts for decades. These are three initiatives among many others, some of which involve both the public sector and private entities.

Economic data demonstrates the fruits of efforts to support medical research and commercialization. Texas leads other states in job growth in key areas. Since 2010, healthcare-related manufacturing has grown 32.9% in Texas, well ahead of the US pace (12.2%) and major competing states. In fact, Texas’ growth ranks well above California (13.4%), Illinois (11.8%), North Carolina (10.6%), Georgia ( 5.1%) and Ohio (1.2%). Employment in bioscience manufacturing is actually declining in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

The bottom line is that Texas’ vibrant economy and its ability to attract capital investment can accelerate the transition from research results to new treatments, supporting the growth of related manufacturing. Accelerating the deployment of new discoveries in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other treatments is also improving health outcomes.

These emerging industries generate substantial spinoffs throughout the economy, providing well-paying jobs and opportunities for other Texas businesses. The state provides an environment for success by ensuring that breakthroughs by researchers translate into new drugs and medical devices, and the data clearly shows that it works. Texas may have started this race at the back of the pack, but it is closing in very quickly. Be careful.

Mr. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group (www.perrymangroup.com).