Advanced technologies today for a healthier tomorrow
Austin’s growing cluster of innovative life sciences companies embraces the area’s technology infrastructure. The result? A region of both established and emerging companies that are changing the face of healthcare.
Austin is home to best-in-class research facilities and boasts one of the most educated populations in the U.S. The dynamic, creative, and entrepreneurial environment is fueled by the availability of funding, research collaboration, clinical trials, and skilled talent. The Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, which welcomed its first class in 2016, will transform the local economy as dramatically as the semiconductor and dot-com industries did in previous decades.
Through a mix of strategic relocations and continued support for our existing industry, Austin’s life sciences cluster has evolved into a well-rounded representation of the industry as a whole. Nearly 300 life sciences companies in the region, and a workforce of over 21,000 is focused on the highest growth segments and research areas in the industry, including the specialties of biologics, medical devices, diagnostics, pharmaceutical, contract research, and others. We’re in good company: more than 6,100 companies with 105,400 workers make the State of Texas State of Texas one of the leading biotech states in the country.
Austin's life sciences companies
- Life sciences information technology (19%)
- Medical device (18%)
- Biologics/biotech (18%)
- Diagnostics (11%)
- Pharmaceuticals (8%)
- Contract research organizations (7%)
- Other (19%)
Research & development
Collaboration between Greater Austin’s research facilities and educational institutions provides bench-to-bedside research and training, leading to solutions for today’s health issues.
There are more than 20 colleges and universities providing life sciences-related and healthcare education in the Austin region. The University of Texas at Austin, a Tier 1 research university, is the driver for innovation with $779 million in annual research funding. Over 50 research units are related to the life sciences. The College of Pharmacy is ranked as one of the top four pharmacy programs in the U.S. UT Austin’s world-class programs include bioengineering, nanotechnology, bioinformatics and pharmaceutical research.
- The Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, which welcomed its first class in 2016, will improve health in Travis County and throughout the country by training new physicians, providing treatment in a new teaching hospital, and conducting research to expand knowledge of medicine and medical technology. As part of a visionary partnership with Ascension Seton, part of Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in the U.S., and Central Health, a public healthcare district, a new $295 million teaching hospital opened in 2017 adjacent to the new Dell Medical School. By designing these facilities concurrently within an integrated complex, the effort represents an unprecedented opportunity to create the best possible environment to respond to community needs and provide patient care.
- Austin Community College's Bioscience Incubator provides leasable wet lab space and an innovative work environment for Austin’s growing cadre of life science entrepreneurs. Austin Community College (ACC) is also home to InnovATEBIO, a National Science Foundation-funded center supporting biotechnology education programs and involving educational, trade and industry partners across the country. Graduates of ACC's Biotechnology Program gain the lab skills needed to work alongside experienced researchers in Austin's bioscience workplaces.
- Anchored by the University of Texas at Austin, its Dell Medical School, and the Dell Seton Medical Center, Austin's Innovation District is taking shape. The 14+ acre site of the former public hospital that Dell Seton Medical Center replaces will become the first phase of the Innovation District that had long been envisioned in the city of Austin. Seventeen stories and 300,000 square feet, Block 164, the flagship building of the Innovation District delivered in 2022. There are also build-to-suit opportunities on the remaining Downtown campus. Flexible workspaces and collaborations hubs, like Workspaces @ Texas Health CoLab are perfect for startups and innovation teams who want to be part of Austin's health and life science epicenter.
- In 2023, the University of Texas System Board of Regents announced plans to launch a monumental healthcare initiative to accelerate and expand UT Austin’s burgeoning medical district into a world-class academic medical center for education, research and patient care. The University of Texas at Austin Medical Center will start with two new hospital towers — The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and a UT Austin hospital. MD Anderson, the nation’s #1 cancer hospital, will expand its Houston footprint to Austin by building and operating a new, comprehensive cancer center, while UT Austin will build and operate a new specialty hospital.
- The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine is a community-based medical school providing third- and fourth-year clinical training at regional clinical campuses around the state through affiliations through local physicians, clinics and hospitals. At the Round Rock clinical campus, clerkship directors direct the students' rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery at sites across Williamson County. Additional community physicians serve as clerkship faculty in these and other clinical areas.
In the Austin metro area, you’ll find a combined enrollment of 177,000 students in four-year and community colleges. This provides an ample supply of well-educated workers to area employers. Within 200 miles of Austin, an additional 86 four-year colleges and universities enroll nearly 468,000, providing one of the world’s strongest talent pools. Life and physical scientists number over 5,100 in the metropolitan area’s workforce—approximately 47% of those are in life sciences fields.
Metro area workforce by occupation: 135,400 STEM / 82,200 healthcare
Grads from 20+ area institutions: 8,800 STEM / 4,700 healthcare
Pharmaceutical & biotech development
Pharmaceutical and biotech companies currently comprise 26% of Austin's life sciences cluster. The region's world-class talent, Tier-1 educational institutions, and history of industry-academia collaboration make it a natural fit for innovative companies.
Pharmaceutical & biotech companies
With its exceptional workforce, highly rated quality of place, and welcoming business climate, it is no surprise that a wide range of medical device and diagnostics companies call the Austin region home. Medical device and diagnostics companies employ a third of Austin’s life sciences workforce. Austin’s established technology-driven talent base is a magnet for medical device companies.
“There’s a spirit in Austin that prides itself in innovation. That's where we wanted to be.”
Tom Kirk, President & CEO, Hanger
Medical device companies
Healthcare information technology
Austin is home to a number of companies that manage the secure exchange of health information between consumers, providers, government and quality entities, and insurers. Innovation in the health information technology space will also be at the center of the Dell Medical School’s mission to create affordable and efficient means for healthcare delivery throughout the community.
“The exceptional depth of technical talent in Austin has driven our development of technologies that solve hospitals’ most pressing challenges: strengthening hospital-physician alignment and clinical performance. We are continuing to invest in our Austin office as we enhance our portfolio of technology services that help hospitals and health systems shift toward value-based and risk-oriented care.”
Paul Roscoe, CEO, Crimson Division, The Advisory Board Company
Healthcare IT companies
For existing Austin area companies and for relocating companies:
Charisse Bodisch, CEcD
SVP, Economic Development