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Industry observers know that Boston, the Bay Area, and San Diego have had decades of clustering and boast the deepest benches of researchers at the discovery and clinical stages, as well as the highest concentration of VCs with deep industry knowledge, notes a new report from JLL, a real estate and investor firm. Traditionally, those markets have offered “second-generation space, spec suites, and forthcoming supply — enough to provide the necessary capital and infrastructure to further their science.” But, the report adds, these markets come at a higher price in terms of real estate and talent.

So where are the opportunities in the future? JLL says that other markets with top-10 life sciences talent pools include metro DC, Raleigh-Durham, and Los Angeles — the latter of which is not traditionally thought of as a top-10 market but is rising fast, according to the report. For medtech, Orange County, CA, is the top-ranked market due to its presence of renowned academic and research institutions, support of the local government and industry associations, and strong VC presence. Minneapolis-Saint Paul, San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Boston, and Salt Lake City comprise the remaining top clusters.

“The elements that are mission critical for young start-ups to grow are numerous, and, while the top 10 markets provide what is necessary for the discovery and clinical stages and house the highest concentration of VCs with deep industry knowledge, new markets like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston are showing signs of significant growth and potential,” says Maddie Holmes, senior research analyst, Life Sciences Industry Insight and Advisory for JLL. “These emerging clusters are attracting investments from universities, institutions, governments, and industry players who recognize the importance of fostering breakthrough scientific developments.”

The report also highlights New York City, noting that it is often talked about as the next “it” market and shows promising signs — boasting a top-10 market for capital and the ninth-deepest pool of life sciences talent in the country. And New Jersey, long a hub for traditional pharma, “makes for an intriguing option,” because it offers “the sixth-most leasable real estate plus eight million square feet of user-owned space, out of which some may eventually be scooped up by investors trying to capitalize on a market that boasts the fourth-best talent market in the U.S.”

Importantly, the report emphasizes that the long-term growth prospects for both medtech and biomanufacturing are exceptional and, given the significant capital investments and the pivotal role of manufacturing operations in a company’s success, choosing locations and sites with long-term value and optimal deployment is imperative.

Sherrie Trigg

Editor and Director of Medical Content