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New Opportunities for Job Creation in Maryland’s Life Sciences Industry

Maryland has one of the nation’s strongest life sciences industries. The state’s array of universities, federal labs, and firms employ 54,000 people, generate breakthrough discoveries, and supply a range of technologies that have been key to COVID-19 pandemic response.

Despite Maryland’s high concentration of employment in research and development (R&D), the sector’s 7.4 percent growth between 2015 and 2020 trailed other leading states such as Massachusetts (58 percent) and North Carolina (38 percent). Beyond R&D employment, the state’s life sciences manufacturing sector expanded at one of the fastest rates nationwide (31 percent), but remains relatively less concentrated than the national average, indicating significant potential for further growth. Maryland’s life sciences industry also faces competition from other states for investment, particularly in entrepreneurs and startup firms that have the potential to sustain job creation across the state.

This report, "New Opportunities for Job Creation in Maryland’s Life Sciences Industry," makes recommendations that state leaders should adopt in order to grow the talent pipeline and improve workforce development; enhance the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and attract venture capital; and create a more cohesive strategy among industry, government, academic, and nonprofit leaders to boost the life sciences industry’s growth and increase job opportunities available to residents across the state of Maryland.