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NYC: A Leader In Life Sciences


life sci

Building upon its world-class teaching hospitals, highly developed philanthropic community, and close proximity to the large life science clusters in neighboring counties, New York City’s commercial life science industry has recently gained momentum.

As of 2013, there were approximately 13,700 life science jobs within NYC. These jobs were mostly in research and development, but also in medical device manufacturing and pharmaceutical manufacturing. This is small compared to other major industries in NYC, comprising just 0.4% of private employment. However, the larger New York-Long Island-Northern NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) contains over 100,000 total jobs in life sciences, which is more than any other MSA in the U.S. and suggests a further upside for companies located within New York City.

Life Science Employment Across Top Life Science Metropolitan Statistical Areas, 2013

Life Sciences Employment

Note: All cities above defined by Metropolitan Statistical Area. Research Triangle Park combines Durham-Chapel Hill, NC and Raleigh, NC MSAs. Source: BLS, QCEW

The NYC Life Science Ecosystem

In the broader landscape of life science companies and institutions in the five boroughs, there are at least 77 established private companies, as well as 10 major academic medical centers and numerous research institutions and foundations. Among them are several global industry leaders including Bristol-Myers, Pfizer, and Forest Laboratories, which have their corporate headquarters in Manhattan.

Additionally, Eli Lilly, Roche, and Pfizer have large-scale research and development operations in New York— many concentrated in the newly constructed Alexandria Center for Life Science at the East River Science Park. See the full map of the NYC Life Science Ecosystem.

Cross-Sector Partnerships & Collaborations

There are two main avenues of cross-sector partnerships in the life sciences: industry-sponsored research and public-private investments in infrastructure and start-up funding.

NYC compares favorably to other cities in terms of industry-sponsored research, thanks to superior academic medical institutions in NYC. In 2012, New York City recorded $128 million of this type of research activity, the fourth largest among peer cities, an indication of NYC's growing importance as companies search for external sources of innovation.

Industry-Sponsored Life Sciences Research across Major Hub Cities, 2012 

life sciences industry research

Note: Cities are defined by their principal counties (e.g. NYC includes New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx and Richmond counties). Source: NSF-NIH Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges

Additionally, the City has made significant investments in the form of public-private partnerships to the life sciences, including over $150 million in the following projects:

  • Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative 
  • Cornell-Technion NYC Campus 
  • Harlem Biospace 
  • Alexandria Center 
  • BioBAT facility 
  • Mount Sinai Institute of Technology 

For more information, read the full Trends & Insights Report on Life Sciences.

Life Sciences



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