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Now live! Explore the program for the upcoming 2024 Global Conference, taking place May 5-8, 2024.

Supporting the Growth of California's Life Sciences Industry

The life sciences are a cornerstone of technological innovation in California. Local firms, laboratories, and universities perform cutting-edge research and development (R&D) activities that have led to numerous technological breakthroughs and generated commercial products with significant positive impacts on health outcomes, energy efficiency, and economic well-being far beyond the state’s borders. Despite its tremendous assets, however, the Golden State can do more to remain a national—and global—leader in the life sciences. Evidence supports a thorough review of the incentives available to industry actors, including recent changes to the state’s R&D tax credit, as well as consideration of additional place-based investment strategies that could improve the industry’s long-term growth trajectory.

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused a spotlight on the life sciences because of the particular need for the products of industry innovation, such as testing materials, therapeutics, and vaccines. Yet the life sciences industry’s long-term contribution to the state’s prosperity extends far beyond the sector’s central role during this recent crisis.

This report reviews the impact of the industry’s characteristics on the current investment landscape, takes a key set of challenges into account as part of the outlook for future investment, and concludes with a review of policy alternatives to support future growth.