health tech

Houston named a top life science emerging market

A new report from a real estate firm has Houston high on its list for emerging life science hubs. Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Houston is moving up the life sciences ladder.

In October, commercial real estate services company CBRE ranked Houston second on its list of the top emerging clusters for life sciences in the U.S. Pittsburgh took the No. 1 spot, while Austin sat at No. 3.

Now, commercial real estate services company JLL also is giving Houston's life sciences sector some love. JLL recently issued a report identifying Houston as one of the top emerging markets in the U.S. for life sciences.

Among the markets covered in the JLL report, Houston ranked seventh for the number of STEM degrees among people 25 and older (409,354). The gives Houston an edge in terms of life sciences talent.

JLL puts Houston at No. 8 in another life sciences category: wage positioning. This refers either to wages above the industry average that entice life sciences talent or wages below the industry average that attract cost-conscious employers.

"Traditional top life science markets will likely retain their positions; however, it's encouraging that Houston, home to one of the world's largest medical centers, continues to rise on the list of markets for further advancements in the life sciences sector," JLL says.

According to the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston has more than 1,760 life sciences companies, hospitals, health care facilities, and research institutions with a workforce exceeding 320,000. Houston's major corporate employers in life sciences include Abbott, Bayer, Fisher Scientific, Merck, Mylan, Novartis, and Philips.

Of course, the Texas Medical Center — the world's largest medical complex — plays a critical role in the region's life sciences sector. The medical center's TMC3 life sciences hub, set to open in 2022, promises to lift Houston's life sciences profile even more. The 30-acre, 1.5-million-square-foot TMC3 campus is projected to create 30,000 jobs and generate an economic impact of $5.2 billion.

Houston-based real estate developer Hines also is getting in on the life sciences game. It is leading establishment of a 52-acre life sciences hub, Levit Green, adjacent to the Texas Medical Center.

In February, commercial real estate firm NAI Partners pinpointed these as the Houston area's current and potential hotspots for life sciences:

  • 1,345-acre Texas Medical Center complex
  • 4,200-acre Generation Park mixed-use development
  • Katy
  • League City
  • New Caney
  • Pearland
  • Sugar Land
  • The Woodlands

NAI Partners noted that life sciences clusters ranking above Houston in the CBRE report sit on the East Coast or West Coast. That makes Houston "the essential location for top-tier, forward-thinking life sciences companies interested in expanding into new geographies," says Holden Rushing, senior vice president of NAI Partners and a member of its life sciences and health care team.

NAI Partners says Houston has affirmed its reputation as one of the most appealing places in the U.S. for life sciences properties.

"Between its highly educated talent pool, nationally regarded health care industry, and business-friendly environment — including being one of the few states without a personal, state, or corporate income tax — Houston's cost-effective tax structure makes it a choice location for any company looking to establish a presence or expand its current footprint," says Travis Rodgers, chief operating officer and executive vice president of NAI Partners.

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Building Houston

 
 

Connect globally without ever leaving the States. Photo by Leo Patrizi/Getty

Imagine a gathering of such healthtech heavy-hitters as Genosur, Levita, MEDIATECH Ventures, Houston Methodist, and MATTER Health, all in one (virtual) room.

Now imagine hearing not only from these companies, but from a dozen more representing both America and Chile in a four-day online event, held August 10-13 that's free to attend.

HealthTech Beyond Borders, sponsored by ProChile, helps facilitate matchmaking opportunities between medical and healthcare organizations from both countries. Not only can they learn from one another, but hopefully these meetings will set the stage for future global collaborations.

The international summit will also explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector. A special focus on medical and healthcare developments and opportunities in Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia is the highlight this year's event.

"We are proud to produce this event and bring so many innovative and leading healthcare organizations and associations together," says Sylas Bailey-Kelly, Chilean Trade Commissioner US Midwest. "Medical and healthcare innovation is an area where Chile and the United States can excel and continue to collaborate to benefit citizens in both countries, and around the world."

As the top investor in Chile, with $22 billion devoted to Chilean projects in the last seven years, the United States is the largest stakeholder in Chilean business developments and the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices.

Likewise, an estimated 93.7 percent of the population in Chile is covered by health insurance, and the country has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America. Chile currently spends nearly 9.14 percent of its GDP on health as compared to the United States, where we only spend 13 percent on healthcare.

Some helpful logistics about the event: Its matchmaking platform allows participants to customize meeting times to fit their own schedules. Attendees can pick and choose which days and times they want to attend and can have one-to-one meetings (25 minutes per meeting) with Chilean participants from research centers, universities, hospitals, healthcare solution providers, and other key Chilean institutions.

The schedule for panel discussions will be posted in advance of the meeting. Presentations on partnering with Chile and the economic opportunities available, along with conversations on geographic hot spots in the U.S. and access to capital, will also be topics highlighted throughout the event.

A more detailed list of the participants includes Chilean organizations Asocciación de Clínicas, Asociación de Proveedores de la Industria de la Salud, Associación Nano Cámara Nacional de Laboratorios, ChileTec, Cobre, and Hospital Fundación Lopez Perez. From the United States, presenting organizations include the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, City of Houston, City of Philadelphia, Greater Houston Partnership, The Cannon, World Business Chicago, and Widener University Small Business Development Council.

If your company develops and sells healthcare products and services, medical devices, and equipment, or is a hospital supply manufacturer, you should attend this unique event.

Registration for HealthTech Beyond Borders is free — reserve your spot now.

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