UT-Baptist Research Park

Geographic Center of Bioscience

Geographic Center of Bioscience

Memphis has long been recognized for its entrepreneurship. From its early days as a trading post along the Mississippi River to the capital of cotton, Memphis entrepreneurs have created international legacies from the creation of rock and roll (Elvis) and the blues to well known companies such as Holiday Inns, FedEx, and AutoZone. Danny Thomas chose Memphis as the home for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital focusing on pediatric cancer. It is now one of the most trusted charities in the U.S. and a global center for research and innovation.

Memphis is the eighth largest medical center in the U.S. and is the orthopaedic center for the United States. The community’s one-of-a-kind orthopaedic cluster features assets in corporate operations, manufacturing, research and development, clinical and trauma care, distribution, employment, venture capital and supporting organizations. The bioscience industry in Memphis is mature and growing every day.

The biosciences industry has emerged as a key economic driver for the Memphis region.

  • The biosciences are a sizable segment of Memphis’ economy with just over 33,000 jobs across 176 individual establishments.
  • The biosciences are a significant job generator for Memphis – one out of every four new jobs in the Memphis region from 2003 to 2007 was generated by the biosciences industry.
  • The pace of bioscience industry growth in Memphis was more than double the U.S. rate of growth in biosciences industry from 2003 to 2007 – 13.5% in Memphis compared to 6.3% for the U.S.
  • Memphis particularly stands out in having robust growth across all of the major industry sub-sectors of the biosciences – biomedical device industry, medical labs, drugs and pharmaceuticals and agricultural feedstock and chemicals.
  • A critical backbone and competitive advantage in growing Memphis’ biosciences industry base is the region’s logistics and distribution strengths. There are 194 biomedical distribution establishments in Memphis, employing more than 2,100 workers – making biomedical distributors the equivalent of the second largest non-clinical bioscience industry sector behind medical devices in Memphis. Moreover, biologistics is embedded in the operations of major bioscience companies in Memphis, including Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Accredo Health (a division of Medco), Smith & Nephew, Wright Medical, Pfizer, Schering Plough (Merck), McKesson and Johnson & Johnson. Finally, Memphis has major third party logistics vendors who focus on biosciences, including FedEx, UPS and DDN.

Source: Battelle Memorial Institute, 2009 Report to Memphis Bioworks Foundation

  • Biosciences industry growth in Memphis outpaced overall private industry growth in Memphis as well as outpaced U.S. biosciences industry growth.

Source: IMPLAN data from U.S. Department of Labor and Commerce

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