One of the most significant biotech clusters in the United States, Washington offers investors, startups and industry innovators a unique environment where collaboration is the norm and bold ideas are changing the face of healthcare.
Opportunities to advance visionary ideas abound, especially in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, equipment, research, testing and medical labs. There is a growing convergence between the life science and global health sectors and artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning and other technologies, which are Washington’s strengths. New devices, treatments and therapies are rapidly prototyped and introduced in a dynamic marketplace that prizes new ideas and innovations.
Director of Economic Development, Life Science Sector
Phone: (206) 256-6110
Life Science/Global Health Exports Manager
Phone: (206) 256-6132
Business Development Manager
Phone: (206) 256-6121
- The life sciences is a top STEM industry for women. Women make up 44% of life science jobs compared to 24% of jobs in aerospace and 30% in computer system design.
- The average salary of $106,122 for a life science job exceeds the average annual wage for private sector jobs in the state, which is $70,144.
- Washington’s 23.5% increase in life sciences jobs from 2015 to 2019 was higher than the increase in private sector jobs overall in the state during that timeframe and higher than the increase in life science jobs nationally.
- The life science industry not employs more than 39,000 people and supports more than additional 100,000 jobs.
- The industry contributes $1.2 billion to state and local tax revenue, $9 billion in wages and benefits, and has a $30.1 billion total economic impact.
- Seattle was named the top emerging biotech market in 2019 by the commercial real estate firm CBRE and, in 2020, was a Top 10 for life sciences.
- The state’s more than 1,100 life science organizations are located in 136 cities.
Over the years, our ideas have revolutionized medicine, from portable heart defibrillators and bone marrow transplantation to passive vaccine storage systems for use in remote parts of the world and centrally connected disposable sensors that can be used for triage. (Visit our Innovations timeline for more Life Science wonders).
More than $1 billion in life science funding is funneled annually into the state’s leading research institutions – the University of Washington, Washington State University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Allen Institute and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. These research labs have been instrumental in advancing medicine on numerous fronts, including aiding in the development of vaccines to bring the pandemic under control.
One of the unique things about Washington’s life science and global health sector is that there is plenty of room for growth. Two-person startups with fresh ideas can easily explore and innovate, tapping into the region’s vast intellectual capital of researchers, scientists, doctors and graduate students.
While the Puget Sound region is a hotbed for the sector, there is a ready pool of support staff and available land for laboratory and manufacturing facilities throughout the state.
Venture capitalists and angels are always on the lookout for the next Washington State success story, such as local bio-device companies that are leveraging the state’s expertise in software, hardware and mobile platforms to create revolutionary new products to monitor and treat health issues. A good example is Xealth, a platform where clinicians can digitally order, deliver and monitor care through a single digital platform, including services such as meal delivery and transportation. The company has received more than $52 million in investments and benefits from the state’s leadership in technology, mobile apps and cloud computing.
Washington has had the distinct honor of being home to eight Nobel Prize winners in medicine, chemistry and physiology. The University of Washington is consistently ranked as one of the most innovative public universities in the nation. The UW and Washington State University have launched more than 200 startups that leveraged their excellence in research.
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Washington is redefining the world of healthcare on a global scale. Life science and international health organizations thrive in Washington because of our extensive research capabilities, highly collaborative partnerships that blur the lines between healthcare and technology, history of innovation and invention, and dedication to health and wellness worldwide, giving hope where there once was none.
One of our life science/global health experts on the right will be happy to assist you.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Allen Institute for Brain Science
- Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
- Seattle’s Children’s Hospital
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- The Hope Heart Institute
- Institute for Systems Biology
- Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute
- Infectious Disease Research Institute
- Puget Sound Blood Center
- Seattle BioMed
- Swedish Medical Center
- Heart Clinics Northwest
- University of Washington, School of Medicine
- Washington State University
M-F: 8am - 5pm
2001 Sixth Ave., Suite 2600, Seattle, WA 98121