MADISON, Wis. (Oct. 25, 2022) –  BioForward Wisconsin, the collective voice of Wisconsin’s robust and comprehensive biohealth cluster representing more than 220 member organizations, shared results of the Wisconsin Biohealth: Industry Landscape and Economic Impact Report which highlights the statewide biohealth industry as a leading economic growth and innovation driver for Wisconsin.

According to the report, prepared by TEConomy Partners, LLC, a global leader in research, analysis and strategy for innovation-based economic development, Wisconsin’s biohealth industry is leading the state out of the economic challenges of the pandemic years, outpacing other major state industries with strong high-wage job growth that is generating significant economic impacts throughout the state.

Among the highlights from the third-party report are:

  • Economic Impact: The total state economic impact contribution by the biohealth industry is $32 billion in direct, indirect, and induced sources, as well as $1.2 billion in state and local taxes.
  • Jobs: Wisconsin’s biohealth research organizations, manufacturers, digital health, and distribution companies directly employ nearly 52,000 individuals, and have seen 10.6 percent job growth since 2018, significantly outpacing the state’s overall job growth of negative 2.7 percent. This employment supports approximately 77,000 additional jobs, leading to the full biohealth job impact reaching nearly 129,000 jobs throughout the State of Wisconsin.
  • Wages: The high-quality jobs generated across the biohealth industry pay approximately $96,000 annually on average (70 percent above overall industry average in Wisconsin) reflecting the high value-adding activities and skilled workforce deployed across scientific research and development, manufacturing, sales, distribution, and other key roles.
  • Funding: Wisconsin-based institutions and organizations received $554 million in National Institutes of Health funding in 2021 (an increase of 19 percent since 2018). Additionally, venture capital and angel investments in Wisconsin’s biohealth industries totaled a new high of $191 million in 2021 (an increase of 49 percent from the average levels of investment seen in the prior three years). Also, Wisconsin biohealth companies received Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards totaling nearly $46.8 million between 2018-2021.
  • Research & Development Innovation: Wisconsin benefits by having an especially large and leading university Research & Development (R&D) engine, which in 2019 and 2020 surpassed $1 billion in annual expenditures. Biohealth-related R&D in Wisconsin has outpaced the U.S. in growth since 2018.
  • COVID-19 Impact: The report specifically emphasizes the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the state’s biohealth industry stating, “During the core pandemic years in 2020 and 2021, most of Wisconsin’s biohealth industry continued to grow. Driving much of the gains was the biomedical research and testing subsector, which ramped up its employment base by 22 percent; drugs and pharmaceuticals had 16 percent job growth; and biomedical distribution rose by nearly 5 percent.”
  • Regional Footprint: While primarily concentrated in the Madison and Milwaukee regions, Wisconsin’s biohealth industry is broad-based, spanning several regions across the state, including developing clusters in in Green Bay, Sheboygan, Eau Claire and La Crosse.

“The report highlights the immense growth opportunity for Wisconsin’s vibrant and dynamic biohealth industry, and its role in being a crucial driver in the state’s economic growth,” said BioForward CEO Lisa Johnson. “This strong growth, high wages, expanding career opportunities and impressive innovation in the biohealth sector are just what the state needs amidst current economic challenges and headwinds.”

“Considering the entirety of the biohealth industry and its robust ecosystem, the report displays how Wisconsin is advancing with progress across every measure from 2018, and seeing strong levels of activity,” Johnson continued. “This sector continues to be a key economic and innovation driver for the state, leading Wisconsin out of the challenges of the pandemic years, outpacing other major state industries with strong, double-digit and high-wage job growth.”

The report’s authors also noted that the state’s biohealth industry is, “critical to the Wisconsin economy, and the state needs this industry now more than ever – not only to contribute its significantly high wages and outsized economic impacts, but also to solve intra-state and broader global health and quality of life challenges.”

The report was funded by BioForward Wisconsin and industry partner Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Read the full report on WisBusiness