Boulder is home to a well-established bioscience industry that emerged, in part, from research conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder. Over the past forty years, the Boulder area has developed a high concentration of companies in the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Medical Devices and Instruments industry sectors (4.3 times the national average).
|Bioscience Companies in Boulder MSA|
|Number of Firms||142|
|Number of Employees||4,775|
|Employment Concentration (1.0=US average)||4.3|
Source: Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (2016)
Currently, there are over 98 biosciences companies in the Boulder area, including:
- Array BioPharma
- Clovis Oncology
- Corden Pharma Colorado
- Hospira Boulder Inc.
- KBI Biopharma
- N30 Pharmaceuticals
- MBio Diagnostics
- OPX Biotechnologies
- Pisces Molecular
Boulder offers many local advantages that make it a top location for bioscience, including:
The ability to recruit and retain highly-educated talent.
Boulder MSA has the most highly educated population in the nation, and Colorado is the second-most highly educated state in the nation. Boulder and the Denver metro area is attractive for employees under 35.
Proximity to the University of Colorado Boulder.
University of Colorado Boulder is a leader in bioscience research and its applications to biotechnology breakthroughs, which was strengthened by the creation of the BioFrontiers Institute.
Proximity to major bioscience and medical research facilities.
Boulder is less than 45 minutes from one of the nation’s newest and largest medical complexes. The Fitzsimons Life Science District and the adjacent Anschutz Medical Campus are among the most ambitious medical developments in the country, and are the focal points of opportunity in the bioscience industry.
Access to financial resources to fund research and development.
Colorado has developed several programs to help bioscience companies thrive. Several programs were created by the Colorado Legislature to grow and expand the region’s bioscience industry, including:
- The Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program, created in 2006 to grow and expand bioscience research and accelerate the development of new products and services.
- The Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Programs, created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s key industries through public-private partnerships, strong infrastructure, and early capital. AI Accelerator programs provides advanced industries–including bioscience–with several million dollars a year for up to 10 years.
Strong entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem.
Boulder ranks as one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the United States with talented individuals driving innovation in all industries, including bioscience. Boulder has many bioscience start-ups spinning off from CU-Boulder, research labs and other bioscience employers every year.
Access to support and service companies in Boulder.
Bioscience partners within the Boulder community support the advancement of the industry.
Metro Denver’s bioscience industry is thriving and a vital part of the region’s economy, comprised of biotechnology, medical device, agricultural-bioscience, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, health care providers, research institutions and those businesses that provide critical services and products to bioscience companies. With more than 15,000 bioscience workers at almost 600 companies, the nine-county region has a significant foundation on which to build and expand the bioscience industry.
The Metro Denver region is home to numerous other public and private bioscience research and innovation assets, including:
- The Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado Denver
- National Jewish Health
- The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
- The Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes
- The Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology
- The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome
- The Marion Downs Hearing Center
- The Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
- The Webb-Waring Institute for Cancer, Aging, and Antioxidant Research
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases in Fort Collins
- Colorado State University’s (CSU) Seed Laboratory and Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory
- The Biofrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder
According to the Colorado BioScience Association, Colorado’s bioscience presence includes the following statistics:
- Over 600 bioscience companies are located in Colorado.
- Colorado employs 27,000 people in the bioscience industry, creating over 122,000 direct and indirect jobs, translating into over $10 billion in payroll.
- Venture capital investments in Colorado bioscience companies totaled $1.625 billion in the last five years with an additional $10.166 billion in acquisitions.
- Colorado ranked fourth in the nation for funds raised per worker from the SBIR grant program and received more than $75.1 million in 2012.
University of Colorado Boulder is a leader in bioscience research and its applications to biotechnology breakthroughs. Successful biotech companies have been launched from CU-Boulder research and talent. Faculty members from across multiple CU campuses, departments and disciplines are engaged in bioscience, including:
- chemistry and biochemistry;
- computational biology and computer science;
- molecular, cellular and developmental biology;
- applied mathematics;
- ecology and evolutionary biology;
- mechanical, chemical and biological engineering
- physics; and
- civil, environmental and architectural engineering.
CU-Boulder’s leadership in bioscience was strengthened by the creation of the BioFrontiers Institute, headquartered in the new Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building, a 300,000 sq. ft., $300 million multi-disciplinary research center on CU-Boulder’s East Campus. At the BioFrontiers Institute, researchers from the life sciences, physical sciences, computer science and engineering are working together to uncover new knowledge at the frontiers of science, and partnering with industry to make their discoveries relevant.
Led by Nobel Laureate Thomas Cech, BioFrontiers is attracting talented researchers and students by providing an environment that encourages and rewards innovative thinking and collaborative research. The facility offers incubator space for researchers making bioscience discoveries and discovery bioscience technology.