The biotechnology industry in the United States is comprised of more than 1,300 companies. During the decade
between 2001 and 2010, biotech in the U.S. was one of the few industries that grew, at a rate of 6.4% annually. However,
this growth was distributed non-uniformly across the U.S., with some states attracting more biotechnology startup
ventures than others, even when normalized for the population living in those states. Many factors contribute to why
certain regions of the U.S. have a more developed biotechnology industry than others. For example, the presence of
venture capital and investment banking firms as well as the presence of a trained workforce of former pharmaceutical
industry personnel are “fixed assets or variables” that promote biotech entrepreneurial activities. We here seek to study in
particular the role that individual state-wide incentives or “discretionary public policy variables” play in attracting biotech
entrepreneurs to those states, which could be considered as general strategies to be applied to other states seeking to
expand economic activity in this sector. To this end, we analyzed where funding was awarded per U.S. state from the
Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Credits and Grants Program (QTDP) of the U.S. Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act of 2010, both in terms of absolute dollar amounts and amount per capita being normalized for the
total population in each state. Using this approach, we identified the 10 top U.S. states where biotechnology research was
the most developed which are Massachusetts, Maryland, California, New Jersey, Washington, Utah, Rhode Island,
Colorado, Minnesota, and Connecticut. A qualitative analysis of the activities in each of these 10 states was conducted to
examine the discretionary public policy variables that promoted entrepreneurship in the biomedical research area.
Biotechnology, California, entrepreneurship, incentives, public policy, Maryland, Massachusetts.
Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute, 3805 Old Easton Rd., Doylestown, PA 18902, USA.