2010 RANKINGS: KS, TX Surge in Biotech

Kansas and Texas flexed their biotech muscles in Business Facilities’ annual Rankings Report, released today.

Kansas has been ranked the #5 state in the nation in Biotechnology Strength. The 2010 ranking is a major leap forward for the Sunflower State, which ranked ninth in the biotech category last year and tied for 10th in 2008.  Texas surged from sixth place to second place in the Biotechnology Strength ranking, firmly establishing the Lone Star State as a major national hub for bioscience-related industries.

According to Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers, the upward movement by Kansas in biotech was one of the most significant improvements measured in the national publication’s annual rankings this year. “Biotechnology Strength is one of our most important and fiercely competitive rankings categories,” Rogers said. “Kansas clearly has shown that it is a biotech force to be reckoned with, and it has staked a claim to a leadership position for years to come.”

Business Facilities factors more than two dozen criteria into its annual biotechnology ranking, including an assessment of state-funded research and development programs, interaction with institutions of higher education, and major projects announced within the past year.

Perennial biotech king California, which boasts the strongest university-based biotech research network, repeated as the top ranked state in this year’s biotech ranking. Pennsylvania, which topped this category in BF’s 2008 rankings, placed third, followed by Massachusetts.

Texas has continued to build its biotech industry, notching a 35 percent increase in biotech-related facilities and an 11 percent increase in total bioscience employment, according to the 2010 Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Initiatives report. Battelle reported that Texas now has nearly 3,000 biotech facilities and about 65,000 bioscience workers.

“We were particularly impressed by the amount of R&D funding for biotech in Texas (approx. $2.5 million) and the number of higher education degrees in bioscience, which exceeded 10,000,” Rogers said. “Texas not only is building a biotech manufacturing base, it is growing a skilled workforce to support it.”

Rogers cited the Kansas Bioscience Authority as a key driver in the Sunflower State’s remarkable progress in moving up the national biotech ladder. “Kansas has an impressive and expanding program, spearheaded by the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA), that brings together industry, higher education and government in a coordinated, targeted effort,” Rogers said.

Rogers called KBA’s stewardship of a $581-million biotech investment fund “a uniquely focused and highly successful effort” that has made Kansas a national center for animal health research, a leader in pharmaceuticals and an emerging player in bioenergy.

Already established as the epicenter of a national Animal Health Corridor, Kansas has been awarded with a trifecta of major government biotech research facilities, including the $650-million NBAF biodefense lab, the Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Lab, and the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases at Kansas State University.

The NBAF, which will be the nation’s premier biodefense facility, is under construction in Manhattan, Kansas, which was cited by Business Facilities as #2 in this year’s ranking of the top 10 metros for Economic Growth Potential. “The research undertaken in Manhattan will continue to grow in importance. KBA has put in place a solid foundation for exponential development that will lift the entire region,” Rogers said.

Here are the complete Biotechnology Strength results:

  2. TEXAS
  10. OHIO

Business Facilities congratulates all of the top-ranked states in this year’s rankings,” Rogers said.

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