New York City Emerges as a Global Life Sciences Hub
In NYC, the stage is set like no other city for life sciences companies of all sizes to thrive.
Something’s happening in New York City. The nation’s finance, real estate, and media capital is today a powerhouse of life sciences, one of the nation’s fastest-growing innovation sectors. Founders, academics, investors, and researchers are finding everything at their fingertips in NYC — access to talent, space, resources, knowledge, and key thought leaders.
Amy Schulman, managing partner at Polaris Partners — an investment firm backing healthcare and biotech companies — argues that New York has a unique set of advantages for life sciences. “Academic medical institutions here are so strong that the translational opportunities are profound,” she says. “And when you couple that with New York’s talent and diversity, it’s impossible to ignore.”
And the growth is real. The New York metro area is now home to 5,100 life sciences companies — 30 percent more than Boston. It also has nearly 150,000 jobs in life sciences: That’s 14,000 more than San Francisco.
But what’s driving the city’s life sciences boom? Experts point to a few key factors that give New York an edge — a sustained commitment to public investment and public-private partnerships, physical infrastructure, and world-class talent.
A Public Commitment
A $1+ billion public investment in life sciences by the City of New York put NYC on the life sciences map.
LifeSci NYC will invest $450 million to spur new research, $600 million to construct new labs and incubator spaces, and $20 million to build a pipeline of diverse talent. The investment aims to create 40,000 jobs, unlock 10 million square feet of wet- and dry-lab space, and spur the launch of 1,000 new companies.
“As companies specializing in biotechnology, diagnostics, therapeutics, digital health, and more choose the city as their preferred location, we see New York City as the home to future innovative breakthroughs that will support better health for all,” says Claire Pomeroy, President at the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.
Leveraging Physical Space
New physical space has been a key element of the city’s strategy.
A $1+ billion public investment in life sciences by the City of New York put NYC on the life sciences map. From Kips Bay and the West Side in Manhattan to Long Island City in Queens and Morris Park in the Bronx, New York’s life sciences community is defined by neighborhood-based clusters of incubators, accelerators, commercial life sciences startups, nonprofits, and academic and medical research institutions that cross-pollinate, pool resources, generate ideas, and grow together.
“Not long ago, there was no infrastructure that would allow two people in the space to come together,” says Ellen Jorgensen, co-founder of Aanika Biosciences. “We are now part of this movement that is bringing entrepreneurial biotech into the city.”
But it’s not just investment dollars and square feet that set New York apart — it’s people.
New York’s world-class universities and research centers make the city a magnet for life sciences jobs, and that helps root graduates in the five boroughs, with an 89 percent growth in life sciences jobs since 2001.
Sue Rosenthal, Senior Vice President of life sciences and healthcare at New York City Economic Development Corporation, urges that the time to invest and launch in NYC is now. “In NYC, the stage is set like no other city for life sciences companies of all sizes to thrive,” says Rosenthal. “We’re here to help you be a part of it.”
Tap into the growing New York City life sciences ecosystem by visiting lifesci.nyc.
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