Put our bioscience industry under the microscope

With more than 15,860 bioscience workers at 670 companies, the nine-county region has a significant foundation on which to build and expand the bioscience industry. The region ranks 11th among the top 50 metro areas for 2016 employment concentration in medical devices and 28th for pharmaceuticals and biotechnology employment.

Metro Denver Bioscience Employment Snapshot U.S. data in ( )
Medical Devices & Diagnostics Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
Direct Employment 11,160 4,700
Companies 340 330
Five-Year Employment Growth (2011-2016) 10.8% (1.8%) -2.5% (5.4%)
One-Year Employment Growth (2016) 1.7% (0.9%) 3.2% (1.5%)
Direct Employment Concentration (2016) 0.5% (0.3%) 0.2% (0.3%)
Average Wage $75,400 $103,370
Employment Concentration Ranking (Among 50 largest metros) 11 28

The region is a top bioscience location, offering: 

  1. The ability to recruit and retain technical and scientific employees and research talent

    Colorado ranked second in the 2016 State Technology and Science Index. Colorado received top-five rankings in all five categories, and received its highest individual score in human capital investment (first). (Milken Institute, 2016)

    Colorado has 10 higher education institutions with bioscience programs. Biological sciences graduate programs at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), Colorado State University (CSU), and the University of Colorado Denver ranked within the nation's top-100 in 2014. (U.S. News & World Report, 2014)

  2. Affordable operating costs 

    Bioscience companies can recruit affordable, productive employees as the nine-county average wage for bioscience workers is slightly below the national average. Denver ranked as the 13th-best for life sciences based on employment, employment growth, venture capital funding, and NIH funding in the 2016 Life Science Outlook. (Jones Lang LaSalle, 2016)                 

  3. A pro-business environment and competitive tax structure

    Colorado's simplified corporate income tax structure, based on single-factor apportionment, allows companies to pay taxes based solely on their sales in the state. Along with few regulatory burdens, Colorado's corporate income tax rate of 4.63 percent is one of the lowest and most competitive tax structures in the nation. (State of Colorado; The Tax Foundation)

  4. Access to financial resources to fund research and development

    Colorado offers several public and private sources of business funding including the Certified Capital Companies Program, the Colorado Venture Capital Authority, and Colorado Capital Access. (Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade)

    Colorado ranked third in the nation for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants per worker. The state received more than 200 grants totaling $82.1 million, or $32.90 grants per worker compared with the U.S. average of $11.80. (U.S. Small Business Administration, 2016; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)

  5. Business organizations and public policy programs designed to encourage industry growth

    The Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Programs includes four types of grants and a global business support program to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s advanced industries, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, infrastructure engineering, and technology and information. These industries account for nearly 30 percent of the state’s wage earnings and nearly 35 percent of the state’s total exports. (The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, 2016)

The nine-county Metro Denver region is home to numerous public and private bioscience research and innovation assets, including:  

  • The Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver)
  • The Division of Biomedical Informatics & Personalized Medicine at CU 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
  • The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute
  • The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome
  • The Marion Downs Center
  • The Webb-Waring Center
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in Fort Collins
  • Colorado State University’s (CSU) Seed Laboratory and Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory
  • CSU Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies
  • The BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder)

The $5.4 billion, 578-acre Fitzsimons Innovation Campus 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. The project is one of the world’s newest bioscience developments that combine education, research, innovation, and patient care facilities. More than six million square feet of corporate and bioresearch facility space are being developed for companies and firms focusing on the science and technology sectors at the campus.