Why Choose Colorado?
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 07/17/2017
What makes Colorado an ideal state for bioscience? Our state’s 300 days of sunshine a year and educated workforce appeal to homegrown companies and those looking to relocate. Our top five list, part of our Breakthrough Profiles national storytelling campaign to promote our state’s bioscience industry, reflects what contributes to our sector’s inventive spirit and drive to do big things:
Convergence in Colorado
For Lyndsey Linke, founder and CEO of SiVEC Biotechnologies— a company developing a revolutionary antiviral technology to protect the poultry industry against avian influenza virus —the answers to the ‘Why Colorado?’ question are numerous. “There are so many opportunities for biotech companies to develop technologies from concept to commercialization without having to leave the state.” Linke says.
Between 2011 and 2016, the number of jobs in the medical devices and diagnostics industry in Colorado grew by 10 percent, compared with the national average of 1.8 percent.
Within the last year, employment in the state’s pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industry also increased by 3.2 percent.
Digital Health Epicenter
In addition to more than 720 bioscience companies and organizations, nearly 11,000 technology companies call Colorado home. The state’s concentration of highly educated technology and bioscience workers creates the ideal environment for digital health startups.
Colorado is a major innovation hub in digital health. More than 130 companies working at the intersection of technology and healthcare call Colorado home.
World-Class Research and Innovation
The presence of highly-regarded universities and research institutions also creates a strong draw for new and expanding life science companies in Colorado. “With highly-regarded research universities and 10 higher education institutions with bioscience programs, Colorado is churning out a well-educated, highly skilled workforce,” says Laura Brandt, director of economic development at the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.
“We can attract a lot of the undergrads from CU or CSU,” says Larry Gold, SomaLogic’s founder and chairman (and former CEO).
- Sponsored Research Funding – $420M
- Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Dentistry, Public Health
- Hospitals – UC Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, VA
- Center for Personalized Medicine & Biomedical Informatics ($63M Gift)
- Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine
- Gates BioManufacturing Center
- Fitzsimons Innovation Campus – Corporate and bioresearch facility space.
- StartUp Health Colorado
- Research Funding – $425.6M
- Access to core facilities
- Four primary interdisciplinary research areas: Large Datasets and Genomics, Bioimaging: From Molecules to Organisms, New Therapeutic Paradigms,
- Sponsored Research Funding – $320M
- Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies ($65M Gift)
- Flint Animal Cancer Center – internationally recognized leader in clinical veterinary oncology and cancer research
Colorado also provides a solid foundation for any industry to thrive, with a competitive tax structure and affordable operating costs relative to other parts of the country. In addition, the state offers several public and private sources of business funding and the state government is highly supportive of the life sciences industry.
“The infrastructure support for bioscience and life science companies in the state is world-class,” says Ben Walker, life sciences director at Innosphere, a Colorado technology incubator that accelerates the success of high-impact science and technology startups. “The support and infrastructure found in our state really bring the bioscience community together with critical business resources.”
Linke believes that it is such support and collaboration that has helped SiVEC advance. “People are so ready to drop what they are doing and help,” she says.