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Estimating the biotech sector's contribution to the US economy

US biotech sector revenue is estimated to have grown on average >10% each year over the past decade—much faster than the rest of the economy. A more comprehensive assessment of biotech's economic contribution, however, will require improved data collection, classification and analysis.

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Figure 1: 2012 biotech revenues in the United States were >$324 billion.
Figure 2: US farm-scale revenues and market penetration of GM crops.
Figure 3: Estimated total annual US biotech revenues from 1980 to 2012.
Figure 4: Contribution of biotech revenue to US GDP and GDP growth.


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I am grateful to R. Langer, R. Wehbring, M. Oliveira and E. Carlson for their excellent comments and questions. Early portions of this work were funded by the Homeland Security Institute, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Biodesic, LLC.

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Correspondence to Robert Carlson.

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R.C. is the Managing Director of an investment fund that operates in biotechnology.

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Carlson, R. Estimating the biotech sector's contribution to the US economy. Nat Biotechnol 34, 247–255 (2016).

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