Bio/Med Working For You
A knowledge-based industry cluster like the biosciences requires the right blend of ingredients for a thriving innovation ecosystem.
This unique blend of regional assets can be leveraged by firms and others to innovate and to grow. Critical in this mix are access to capital, proximity to academic and industrial research, presence of technology industries, and perhaps most critical, a robust talent pipeline. Innovation and technology breakthroughs in new therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, or other bioscience-related areas require a core workforce that has depth of education and experience.
Industry leaders continually identify talent among their top challenges, this is the case in Upstate New York based on recent survey results profiled earlier. In a recent study by PwC’s Health Research Institute in which they conducted extensive interviews with life science executives, the consultancy found 51 percent, the largest share among the 19 sectors they interviewed, report hiring is now more difficult than before with just 28 percent expressing confidence they will have access to top talent.
The biosciences require a highly-skilled workforce that spans a range of innovation-driving occupations. Upstate New York is relatively under-concentrated in employment among the primary high skilled bioscience-related occupations, which can limit the innovative nature of the industry cluster. Additional key occupations that drive advanced manufacturing in the biosciences demonstrate strong production, engineering and quality control expertise in the region. The region’s colleges and universities are producing strong numbers of degree graduates, but employer concerns are more mid- and executive-level experienced personnel and in specific skill sets. Many of the skill areas of concern raised by employers are areas in which the region has high concentrations of workers, suggesting there are competitive capacity limits being reached across the region and in turn, employers are turning outside the state for qualified candidates and experienced talent. The region has a strong base of regional colleges and universities from which to draw talent and has several unique programs and initiatives underway to address specific training and job matching needs.