The Texas economy has been setting the standard for economic growth, leading the country in major new corporate locations for the past 10 straight years. The population is also diverse and growing, which is not the case in many parts of the country.
We’re also seeing the continued emergence of industries in the state as the business environment encourages growth. One segment where Texas once lagged other regions was that of biosciences and related manufacturing. Well, folks, that has changed!!
Texas has world-class health care institutions, research organizations, research universities, research laboratories, and medical schools. In fact, the world’s largest medical center and the nation’s largest military medical complex are located here. The state has top medical schools and research universities, a large and growing technology sector, excellent research labs, a culture of innovation, and a regulatory environment conducive to progress. The result is the emergence of a vibrant medical research and technology sector.
Texas also has catalysts for growth, such as The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). CPRIT has been overwhelmingly supported by Texas taxpayers, who have twice voted to provide about $6 billion in funding for cancer research and screening. The institute has attracted leading scholars and researchers, improved cancer outcomes, and generated billions in economic benefits. Another example is Pegasus Park, which includes an incubator for new biotech industries. In addition, the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute has supported the state’s efforts for decades. These are three among many initiatives, a number of which involve both the public sector and private entities.
Economic data demonstrates the fruits of efforts to support medical research and commercialization. Texas is outpacing other states in job growth in key areas. In the period since 2010, health-related manufacturing has expanded by 32.9% in Texas, well ahead of the U.S. pace (12.2%) and major competing states. In fact, Texas growth ranks well above California (13.4%), Illinois (11.8%), North Carolina (10.6%), Georgia (5.1%), and Ohio (1.2%). Employment in bioscience manufacturing is actually shrinking in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
The bottom line is that Texas’ dynamic economy and ability to attract capital investment can accelerate the transition from research findings to new treatments, supporting growth in related manufacturing. Accelerating the deployment of new discoveries into pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other treatments also improves health outcomes.
These emerging industries generate substantial spillover benefits throughout the economy, providing well-paying jobs and opportunities for other Texas businesses. The state provides an environment for success in seeing that the breakthroughs of researchers translate into new medicines and medical devices, and the data clearly indicate that it’s working. Texas may have started this race near the back of the pack, but it is closing very rapidly. Stay safe.
Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Texas-based economist M. Ray Perryman. Dr. Perryman is president and CEO of The Perryman Group (www.perrymangroup.com). This organization has served the needs of over 2,500 clients over the past four decades. The above column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author. Perryman can be reached by email via: [email protected].
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