Venture capital funding is pouring into our region and continuing to set records in 2021. Big checks are definitely going to tech, but another industry sector that is thriving – in part due to the tech ecosystem – is the life sciences. According to a recent CBRE report, venture capital funding for our region’s life sciences industry is up 266% in Q1 of 2021 compared to Q1 2020, making us the fastest-growing “major market” in the U.S.
Lab and R&D space in Greater Seattle is predominately all new construction with vacancy rates at a low of 3.0% compared to say San Diego at 4.3%. Fortunately, new developments such as the Alloy innovation Center now provide an additional 205,000 square feet of Class A research space for life sciences companies with another 913,000 sq. ft. currently under construction elsewhere in the region. We will more than likely see an additional 1.6 million sq. ft. of lab capable space in Greater Seattle by 2025. That is the equivalent of almost 28 football fields.
Also stated in the CBRE report, $8.6 billion in venture capital has been awarded to companies in the Pacific Northwest region in just the past 12 months. Gorgeous scenery, a great lifestyle and no corporate or personal income tax are big drivers for entrepreneurs. But you’ve got to have the talent. Good thing the University of Washington is “No. 5 in the top 20 schools ranked by completions of life sciences-related PHD’s,” and it is consistently ranked in the top 5 most innovative public universities in the world.
Our region has long been a pioneer in the life sciences and biotechnology industry with innovations such as portable heart defibrillators, passive vaccine storage systems, centrally connected disposable sensors and bone marrow transplantation. We are anchored by leading companies and institutions such as:
- Adaptive Biotechnologies
- AGC Biologics
- Allen Institute
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- Gates Foundation
- Juno Therapeutics
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
- Seattle Genetics
According to Life Sciences Washington, our state is home to more than 1100+ life sciences organizations adding $11.5 billion to the state’s GDP. You can be sure we will continue to change the world for the better.