Two California-based life sciences organizations, representing companies throughout the state, have published a survey focusing on the state’s industrial biotechnology sector, including biofuel, green industrial chemical and biomaterial production facilities.
While employment in the industry has skyrocketed 632 percent over the past five years, BayBio and BIOCOM, which conducted the survey of 33 companies, caution policymakers and academia that keeping jobs could require some changes. Apparently, industrial biotech companies indicated that tax exemptions and credits as well as a well-prepared workforce would be needed to keep their operations in California. Research and development is apparently robust, but California is evidently lacking in pilot and commercial operations. According to the survey, “[c]ompanies reported difficulty in finding qualified candidates for several highly technical functions, particularly in the areas of chemical engineering, purification, and fermentation.”