© 2022 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science, Environment

Study: Missouri Spends Lion's Share Of Research Funds On Bioscience


Missouri spends a greater share of its academic research money on biosciences than any other state in the nation, according to the latest study from Battelle and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

The study finds that, in 2012, the state’s research universities devoted 85 percent, or about $895 million dollars, to academic bioscience research, compared with 61 percent for the national average.

Meanwhile, employment in Missouri’s bioscience industry shrank by 5 percent between 2007 and 2012.  Still, the study shows Missouri’s bioscience industry is far from anemic. The industry supports 28,000 bioscience jobs spread across a diverse set of industry sub-sectors and 1,330 business establishments..

State firms were issued 2,022  US patents from the year 2009 to 2013, primarily in the areas of biotechnology and surgical and medical instruments, the report found. In that time period, the number of biotechnology patents nearly tripled from 213 to 619.

“We continue to be successful nurturing homegrown technologies, taking them from research to commercial ventures,” said Sam Fiorello, Chief Operating Officer for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur.

“The other thing  that we’ve been successful in – we saw some of this last week with the announcement of the German seed company – is attracting  firms from other parts of the country and the world to come here and make St. Louis the place where they’re going to build their businesses,” Fiorello said.

The German seed company KWS announced last week it would set up a research facility at the Danforth Plant Science Center.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.