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2018 California Life Sciences Industry Report Highlights State’s Sector Strength, with Irvine Playing a Prominent Role

Monday, November 20, 2017

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The 2018 California Life Sciences Industry Report, developed by California Life Sciences Association in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers and published annually, evaluates the profound impact of California’s life sciences sector on the state’s economy in the areas of sector employment growth, wages, research funding, and life sciences venture investment. 

With Irvine ranked as the third most popular destination of life sciences in the stateand the leader in medical device and ophthalmology, the findings in this year’s report confirm that California continues to lead the nation in the life sciences industry, supporting highly-skilled and well-paying jobs in communities across the state.

Key findings include:

  • California’s life sciences sector directly employs 298,709 people throughout the state in for-profit companies, universities and nonprofit research institutes in 2016. When indirect and induced employment was factored in, the industry accounted for 919,700 jobs. The Bay Area leads the state with over 72,600 direct life sciences jobs. Los Angeles County follows closely with 58,400, while San Diego and Orange County reported 45,950 and 45,100 life sciences jobs, respectively.
  • There are 3,249 life sciences companies in California – 209 more than the previous year – with well over 400 located in Irvine, producing new technologies to improve patient care and boosting the state’s economy. (1,796 medical device and equipment manufacturing firms, and 1,453 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies)
  • The industry paid workers $34.0 billion in salaries and wages during 2016 with the average annual salary over $113,000.
  • California’s stellar academic excellence remains on full display, with 11 of the state’s universities in the Shanghai Index’s top 100, including University of California, Irvine at #64 in the world and 34 in the nation. Again, this leads the nation. In 2015, California universities graduated more than 4,800 science and engineering PhDs. UCI alone has 65 STEM-oriented research centers.
  • California is projected to lead the nation in VC life sciences investment, with $6.7 billion in 2017, an increase of over $2 billion from the previous year. Massachusetts is projected to be second, with nearly $3 billion.
  • California’s nascent digital health sector is projected to attract $2.3 billion in VC investment for 2017, leading the nation. Over $1.7 billion of the digital health funding flowed to the Bay Area. Orange County and Los Angeles County ranked second and third respectively, receiving a combined $423 million.



View the 2018 California Life Sciences Industry Report here.

For more information on Irvine’s life sciences ecosystem and investment opportunities in the city, contact Linda DiMario.


Category: Partner News, Economic Development, Breaking News

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