With over 660 companies and research institutions, Oregon’s bioscience industry is a robust economic engine. Oregon’s bioscience industry is ready to help power the state’s economic future through world-class research and development; medical devices; medical diagnostics; human and animal therapeutics; pharmaceuticals; reagents; research services; bio-agriculture and bio-fuels, as well as medical software.

Industry Overview

The scope of Oregon’s bioscience industry includes research and development, and the manufacturing and sales of medical instruments and devices; medical diagnostics; human and animal therapeutics; pharmaceutical intermediates and processes; food and agricultural products; reagents and services based on biotechnology; and computer systems and software for managing health care technology and services. The largest industry subgroups include medical devices, sponsored life science research, diagnostics, research services and equipment, biotechnology and biological product manufacturing.

There are over 400 traded sector companies generating over $4.1 billion in sales, employing over 17,000 employees with an average annual wage of over $57,000.

 Bioscience by the Numbers



Bioscience & Life Sciences

Economic  Impact

Total Traded Sector Sales & Research:  $4.1 Billion
Average Wage: $57,185 (2010)
Direct Employment : 17,004 (2010)
Average Wage Growth: 17.1% (2005-2010)
Cluster Employment Growth: 21.9% (2005-10)

Source: BIO, Batelle Institute, ECONorthwest , & Oregon Bioscience Association’s Life Sciences Survey 

Cluster Strengths

  • Oregon has an active Entrepreneurial environment with a penchant for innovation, open collaboration and creative roots. Oregonians have the drive and capacity to make things happen, and they are doing just that. Our economy is global in scale and one where knowledge is key for wealth and job creation, and in which ideas, innovation and technology are embedded in all sectors.
  • Oregon has above average performance:
    • Oregon is among the top 10 states in terms of foreign exports per gross state product (GSP).
    • The state awards more science and engineering degrees than the national average.
    • Oregon ranks 2nd among all states in industry R&D as a share of its GSP.
    • The state ranks in the top 10 in patents per capita.
    • Compared to the US, Oregon has a higher than average percent of jobs in sectors that generate the majority of patents and new products.
    • Universities are engaged in technology-based economic development and received a record amount in grant funding in 2010.
  • Oregon Translational Research and Drug Development Institute (OTRADI) is the first of what will likely be more bio-based scientific research corporations.
  • Several major bioscience companies have a presence in the state.
  • Oregon continues to spawn startup bioscience companies in all four sub clusters.

Cluster Challenges

  • Declining funding and support for the specialized workforce training programs. Shrinking state and federal workforce training funds are restricting access to bioscience specific training which could help displaced knowledge workers to transition from other industries into the bioscience sector.
  • The sector is lacking a bioscience-specific incubator and mentoring program available to later stage venture backed or grant funded companies in need of larger facilities and more sophisticated equipment.
  • A statewide need for access to funding for seed, early and advanced stage companies.
  • Universities must increase their impact on bioscience industry development.
  • The state lacks significant incentives for existing and out-of-state bioscience companies to build production/manufacturing facilities in Oregon.
  • Oregon must address the gaps in managerial talent and top scientific talent.

Key Organizations

The Oregon Bioscience Association is the principal organization for the cluster.  Oregon Bio’s mission is to promote the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in Oregon through: Community, Collaboration and Commercialization.

Key industry partners include the Oregon Translational Research and Drug Institute (OTRADI), the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI)Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Oregon Business Development Department (“Business Oregon”), the Portland Development Commission, Lane Metro Partnership, Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), Oregon Science and Technology Partnership, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) as well as other infrastructure organizations which service the industry cluster.

Notable companies include GenentechA-DecIntel Digital Health,Biotronik, TE Connectivity, Welch AllynLife TechnologiesAcumed, Galena Biopharma, MolecularMD, Biotronik, Bend Research, Sega, SuterraOregon Freeze DryThortexPrecision Wire ComponentsTec LabsHemConNeurocomElectrical GeodesicsInovise Medical,  SAM Medical ProductsMicro Power Systems, Abcam, BiojectFEIYecuris and many more.

Cluster Initiatives

The life sciences and biotechnology industry cluster in Oregon values public policies that encourage job creation and promotes the growth of the life science industry in Oregon through (1) Productive business incentives that enable the expansion of industry clusters, reward innovation, and stimulate commercialized research; (2) Avoiding narrow or punitive regulatory structures; and (3) Advocating for the growth of health care markets and ensuring adequate access to health care for all Oregonians.

The industry focuses on these platforms:

  • Innovation  Support and actively advocate for:
    • renewed funding of the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute and the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator
    • the finalization and implementation of the Oregon Bioscience Roadmap.
  • Financing/ Capitalization — Support and actively advocate for:
    • reforming PERS;
    • growing research and development funding
    • protecting state, federal and private incentives to encourage market development
    • ensuring a favorable regulatory and compliance environment;
    • recruiting more bioscience companies to Oregon; and
    • growing life science and biotechnology workforce development initiatives to grow the life science and biotechnology cluster.
  • Access — The industry advocates for stable access to health care services and products for Oregonians by preserving reimbursements and monitoring health care reform actions and rules that impact public and private resources and financing. The industry will monitor the formation and implementation of the Oregon health insurance exchange to ensure access to medicines and devices is maintained; and to ensure industry participation and transparency in health evidence reviews.

Additionally, the industry supports:

  • the development and coordination of the Oregon Growth Fund and Oregon Growth Board to encourage investment in and availability of capital to Oregon businesses and to further economic development in Oregon;
  • helping to align specific funding streams in ways that support the life science and biotechnology sectors;
  • the STEM Access Task Force to encourage students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
  • obtaining funding to grow workforce development for the bio-industry in Oregon.

The industry is also working at the federal level with the national industry association, BIO, to support repeal of the medical device tax, and to support BIO’s principles and platform on biosimilars.

Cluster Contact

For more information on how you can help strengthen Oregon’s bioscience industry, connect with the Oregon Bioscience Association by visiting their website or contact their Executive Director Dennis McNannay.