University Partnership Adds 80,000 Life Science Jobs and $84,000 in Salaries

Michigan State University (MSU) and two partnering universities, Wayne State University (WSU) and the University of Michigan (U-M), have injected energy into the state’s life sciences market.

They have increased the number of jobs by 10.7 percent and the salaries by 29 percent since the formation of the University Research Corridor (URC) 10 years ago, a new report says.

According to East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group, nearly 80,000 Michigan residents now work in the life sciences industry, with the average worker’s salary climbing from $64,602 in 1999 to $83,494 in 2006. The report was contracted by the universities.

The URC invested more than $887 million in life sciences research in 2008, a 69 percent increase since 1999. Sixty percent of life sciences research dollars come into Michigan through federal grants, up from 54 percent a decade ago, the report says.
MSU President Lou Anna Simon notes former MSU chemists John and Karen Frost raised $21 million in the first quarter for their young company, Draths Corp., which has hired several former Pfizer scientists who wanted to stay in the state after Pfizer closed several state operations. Started in an Okemos lab, Draths has opened new corporate headquarters in Plymouth, Minn. Meanwhile, MSU is reviving the former Pfizer laboratory in Holland.

About 75 percent of life sciences jobs are in biological fields including medical product manufacturing, chemical preparation or research and development. Another 18 percent are medical and seven percent are in an agricultural-related field.

Source: MSU

Gretchen Cochran, Innovation & Jobs editor, may be reached here.

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