1st November 2014


Through strong leadership from associations like the WBBA, Washington is in a position to be the world leader in life and health science by 2023. Photo Credit: Megan Jeffrey
Washington State a hotbed of health innovation

Washington State: a hotbed of health innovation

Washington positions itself to be the global leader in life science innovation and health care delivery by 2023.
Sponsored by


Chris Rivera
CEO,
Washington State Biotechnology and Biomedical Association


The vision for Washington’s life science industry is to be “The global leader in life science innovation and health care delivery by 2023!”  This is a lofty, yet attainable goal.  All of the necessary elements are here, and with the rapid developments in personalized medicine, digital health and the globalization of health care, it is very realistic.

Why is this important?

Washington’s life science organizations are working on cures for cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, among numerous other diseases that affect us all.  They are inventing new products and techniques that will help people around the world live longer, healthier and more productive lives.

The vision for Washington’s life science industry is to be “The global leader in life science innovation and health care delivery by 2023!”  This is a lofty, yet attainable goal.

The life science industry is also an economic engine; here are a few facts:

    •    More than 420 life science companies located in 70 cities call Washington home.
    •    72 non-profit research institutes garner billions of dollars in research funding annually.
    •    Since 2007, employment has grown more than 12 percent, adding $11 billion to the state's GDP, $7 billion in personal income and employing more than 92,000 people statewide.  

The life science industry is one of Washington's largest employment sectors!

Washington is no stranger to innovation. Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon were all formed here, and many of the world’s life-saving innovations were invented here. Below are just a few:  
    •    Ultrasound imaging was invented at the University of Washington and spawned a multi-billion dollar industry.
    •    Modern cardiac defibrillators were pioneered by Redmond’s Physio-Control.
    •    The first bone marrow transplant occurred at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
    •    In 2010, three of the 21 drugs approved by the FDA were developed locally.
    •    In 2011, Seattle Genetics received FDA approval for the first new treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma in more than 30 years.
    •    PATH and Seattle BioMed started a revolution more than 30 years ago by focusing research and development on diseases that affect the world’s most vulnerable citizens.  This effort has been bolstered by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"We will learn more about life sciences in the next decade than we have in the past 2,000 years, mainly because of software and our ability to analyze data."

Great minds

According to Leroy Hood, founder of Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology, "We will learn more about life sciences in the next decade than we have in the past 2,000 years, mainly because of software and our ability to analyze data."

Many of the world’s experts focused on delivering health care more efficiently and economically reside in our state.  In addition to our research institutes, companies like Microsoft, Oracle and Google and are focused on “Digital Health”, personalized medicine and how to care for 9 billion people around the world by the year 2050.  

World class companies are partnering with our research institutes and nonprofits to focus on these problems, often resulting in start-up companies that are addressing these challenges and opportunities, and creating more jobs and solutions that will benefit all of us.

These are lofty goals, but if there is any state or region which has proven that it can change the world, it is Washington! Just ask Bill Boeing, Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos.


Chris Rivera
editorial@mediaplanet.com

comments powered by Disqus
Life Sciences Discovery Fund investing in innovation

Life Sciences Discovery Fund: investing in innovation

Life Sciences Discovery Fund is creating jobs, moving promising discoveries closer to commercial realization and positioning Washington State for success.

From the lab to the marketplace

From the lab to the marketplace

Research breakthroughs made in the lab hold great potential to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide; but the challenge remains in how to bring scientific innovation to the marketplace in the form of relevant products, services, therapies, diagnostics and cures.

The innovation economy Moving Washington forward

The innovation economy: Moving Washington forward

Innovation is the application of new solutions.  This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas that are readily available to markets, government and society.