NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - North American technology research parks employ fewer life science jobs than other disciplines, but that is expected to change over the next few years as some cities develop new biomedical campuses or expand existing ones, according to a recent survey of tech park owners.
Walter Plosila, vice president in the Technology Partnership Practice of the Battelle Memorial Institute, which conducted the survey, told GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication BioRegion News that there will soon be more life science jobs at research parks because a greater number of new parks are focusing on nurturing startup biopharma and medical-device businesses.
Another reason is an emerging trend among tech parks to specialize in one or a few related technologies, he said.
According to the survey, released two weeks ago, 13.5 percent, or 35,734 jobs at North American research parks, were in software, while 11 percent, or 28,969 jobs, were in “computers and related hardware.” By comparison, 10.6 percent, or 28,007 jobs, were in the “drugs/pharmaceuticals/diagnostics” category, the survey said.
“I think that’s going to change,” Plosila said. “We’re seeing a phenomenal increase in biomedical parks, but they’re slowly coming online. … We’re seeing lots of these in the development stage around the country. They’re in development. As that happens, you’re going to see much more of the composition being in the biosciences broadly defined to include [agricultural biotech], medical devices, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and research and testing.”
Plosila spoke with BioRegion News after addressing a conference organized by the Association of University Research Parks, which with the nonprofit Battelle surveyed 134 owners and managers of 174 research parks registered in the US and Canada.
The results and some conclusions appear in “Characteristics and Trends in North American Research Parks: 21st Century Directions.”
The complete version of this article appeared in last week’s issue of BioRegion News, a GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication.