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State bioscience sector grown to ‘critical mass,’ observer says

New biotech spinoffs expected at Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park

BY PAULA BURKES Modified: April 29, 2012 at 1:16 am •  Published: April 29, 2012
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/articleid/3669396/1/pictures/1703188">Photo - Michael Carolina is the executive director of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, which funded $4.43 million in statewide projects and attracted $32.5 million outside money last year.  PHOTO BY PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES
Michael Carolina is the executive director of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, which funded $4.43 million in statewide projects and attracted $32.5 million outside money last year. PHOTO BY PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES

Most of the statewide research activity, she said, is concentrated in an 11-county swatch across central Oklahoma, stretching from Ardmore through Norman and Oklahoma City to Stillwater, or from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation to Oklahoma State University.

“The sector has matured and developed into a critical mass,” Stickley said, “so that we’re beginning to see a real economic impact.”

According to a study conducted by Battelle Memorial Research Institute for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Oklahoma’s bioscience sector grew 25 percent from 2004 to 2008, or at twice the national average over the same time period.

Stickley contributes the growth to the quality of internationally-recognized research being conducted here, the city’s innovative research park being free-standing but located by the OU HSC, and several resources to help with state funding for availability of early-stage capital for bioscience companies.

Last year alone, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, funded $4.43 million in statewide research projects and attracted $32.5 million in outside money, spokesman Steve Paris said. Since 1987, the agency has administered $68.3 million and researchers have attracted $341 million, he said.


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Did you know?

Bioscience companies

The average yearly wage in Greater Oklahoma City is $37,773, compared with $45,439 for an employee of a bioscience company. Area bioscience firms have annual revenues of $4.1 billion and employ 27,800 workers with total compensation of $1.5 billion. Including indirect impacts, bioscience companies contribute $6.7 billion in economic activity to the region and support 51,000 jobs earning $2.2 billion in wages.

SOURCE: The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

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