Washington States passion for innovation and legendary culture of collaboration has led to some of the worlds most amazing discoveries. From bone marrow transplantation, the Scribner Shunt and portable heart defibrillator to the Rotablator and Sonicare Toothbrush, Washington research and development teams, universities and businesses have led the way in the life sciences industry.
More than 1,000 biopharma, medical technology and research organizations are focused on bringing new products, therapies and cures to the global marketplace. This ecosystem is fed by leading researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington School of Medicine and the Allen Institute for Brain Research, and supported by such world-renowned health organizations as the Seattle-based Gates Foundation, which has committed more than $32.9 billion to support global health initiatives.
One of the things that sets Washington State apart from other parts of the United States is the close connection between life sciences and the information and communication technology industry. The states 14,000 technology companies offer life science organizations a wealth of new approaches and technologies to address age-old problems. A good example of this cross-pollination is ARKTEKs Passive Vaccine Storage Device. Designed by Intellectual Ventures, the storage device uses lessons learned in space exploration to keep vaccines at their appropriate temperatures for a month or more in third-world communities that lack power and refrigeration.
There is plenty of room for new players in Washingtons life sciences sector. Two-person startups as well as seasoned-businesses with a fresh idea can tap into the tremendous intellectual capital of researchers, scientists, doctors and graduate students in the region. Venture capitalists are always on the lookout for the next Washington State Business Legend, such as Juno Therapeutics, which is exploring ways to use human T-cells to re-engage the immune system in the treatment of cancer.