3 reasons why Boston remains the nation’s top life sciences cluster

For the seventh year in a row, Greater Boston is once again the top life sciences cluster in the U.S. per our latest Life Sciences Outlook. With Kendall Square touted by some as “the most innovative square mile on the planet,” and a growing lab development pipeline in Boston, this distinction should come as no surprise. Even with San Francisco closely on its heels, Greater Boston continues to draw many global leaders in tech and life sciences to Cambridge, the Seaport and growing suburban markets.

So, what makes Greater Boston continually stand out amongst the rest? To better understand how Boston maintains its top position despite the growing competition, particularly from San Francisco, we examined three key factors:

1. Innovation growth – Although the Bay Area attracted $1.2 billion in venture capital during 2017, VC funding has increased by over 279% for biotech companies in Greater Boston over the past three years. Additionally, as the home to the largest concentration of life science researchers, as well as to many elite academic and research facilities, Greater Boston further reigns supreme as a top hub for innovation growth.

2. Talent – In the everchanging CRE landscape, talent, as well as access to talent, has proven key for success and Boston has both in spades. Greater Boston not only has the most life sciences PhD graduates compared to other top clusters, but MIT also graduates more PhD students in the life sciences disciplinaries than any other school in the nation. Coupled with alluring urban amenities, the millennial workforce in Greater Boston shows no signs of slowing down.

3. Life Sciences employment – Having amazing talent means nothing if you don’t have the jobs to employ them. Even though San Francisco saw a 9.2% life sciences employment growth this past year, Greater Boston has one of the highest proportions of life sciences employment among all U.S. clusters. Specifically, the life science industry accounts for 4.6% of the region’s total employment, compared to only 3.9% in the Bay Area. With 11 out of the largest 15 biotechnology companies in the world having a presence in Cambridge, the region’s strong life sciences community only continues to grow.

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