A few weeks ago, Battelle Memorial Institute issued a report estimating the economic impact of mapping the human genome. The conclusion? The US Government earned a handsome return on its $3.8 billion investment between 1988 and 2010. See Patent Doc blog.
The major findings in the report were as follows:
- The project generated a total economic output of $796 billion between 1998 and 2010, generating 310,000 jobs, and $244 billion in personal income (or $63,700 per job-year).
- The Feds invested $3.8 billion from 1990 to 2003 ($5.6 billion in 2010 dollars) and realized an ROI of 141 to 1. Wow!
- The benefits of the project are still in their early stages and "the best is yet to come".
- The project "is arguably the single most influential investment to have been made in modern science and a foundation for progress in the biological sciences moving forward."
In calculating these returns, the work of private entitities like Celera Genomics were included in the analysis by Battelle. The project has been called "one of the best uses of of taxpayer dollars the US government has ever made."
What do we do for an encore? More government support for R&D in the pharma and biotech industry - tax credits anyone -- to support more translation of the genome findings into therapies? Imagine that! a government investment in technolgy that paid off big.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 24th 2011.