About Bioscience

About Bioscience

Kansas has clear strengths in the areas of animal health, human health, and agriculture — and is well situated to take advantage of emerging opportunities in others. From the nationally recognized drug discovery and development enterprise at University of Kansas and Kansas companies, to the state’s historical agricultural leadership, to the selection of Kansas as home to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Kansas is ripe for bioscience growth.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority invests in companies and universities working in bioscience sectors where Kansas has established leadership and expertise and the resources needed to benefit from new opportunities:

This animal health sector involves the production, marketing and use of domestic animals in agriculture, entertainment and companionship. Kansas is part of the renowned Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, home to one-third of the world’s animal health industry. With its investments, the KBA seeks to leverage these strengths by attracting new animal health companies and expanding existing ones, encouraging collaborations that will lead to novel products, and build the foreign animal disease expertise that led to Kansas’ selection as the site of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

Human Health Button

This sector encompasses work to safeguard and improve health with new drugs, therapies, and medical devices. Kansas’ robust human health sector, from basic research to drug and device innovation to outstanding clinical care, provides benefits to Kansans and others worldwide. The KBA looks for investments that will bring drugs and devices to market faster and less expensively than traditional methods, provide new ways to diagnose disease, and boost the state’s economy by attracting a growing share of the federal government’s research investment.

Bioenergy button

Work in this sector focuses on creating fuel and chemicals out of biological material, often plant matter such as corn or switchgrass. Bioenergy products are easier on the environment and can help wean our nation from oil dependency. In this sector, the KBA seeks to invest in ways that will develop the supply chain of feedstocks for bioenergy production, drive collaborations that will lead to new businesses and products, and help bioenergy producers become profitable, sustainable enterprises.

Agriculture and Bio-based Products button

Kansas is known for its strong agricultural sector. Agriculture and products derived from crops will continue to play a key role in the state’s economy, particularly in rural communities. These industries have a global reach, too — Kansas’ agricultural roots prime the state for advances in plant biology to help feed and clothe the world. The KBA seeks investments that advance new technologies, support innovative research, create new jobs and further advance Kansas’ leadership in these sectors.

Bioscience is a Growth Industry

Nationwide, bioscience is a high-growth industry. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects the biosciences will be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the overall economy through 2018.

According to the Battelle State Bioscience Initiatives Report 2012:

  • The U.S. bioscience industry grew four-and-a-half times faster than the overall private sector from 2001 to 2008.
  • Bioscience employment increased even as the recession began in 2008 and U.S. private sector employment declined. Since the recession began, bioscience employment has held on to two-thirds of its gains since 2001, while overall private sector employment has fallen below 2001 levels.
  • Earnings have continued to rise, with bioscience workers earning 13.1 percent more than they did in 2001, compared to a 4.4 percent rise in earnings for the overall private sector.
  • In Kansas, employment in the biosciences grew 14.6 percent from 2001 to 2010, while overall private sector employment fell by 3.3 percent. And in 2010, the average annual wage of a Kansas bioscience worker was nearly $62,000, compared to less than $40,000 for the average Kansas worker.