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Governor Discusses $1 Billion Life Sciences Initiative with Industry Leaders at MassMEDIC Annual Conference

UMass Research Shows State’s Medical Devices Sector Offers Diverse Job Opportunities for Massachusetts Workers

BOSTON (May 6th, 2008)—With his new $1 billion life sciences initiative expected to add more jobs to the industry as a whole, Governor Deval Patrick today said the medical device sector, in particular, will be playing an even larger job-creating role in the future.  Speaking at the 12th annual conference of MassMEDIC, the Massachusetts medical device industry council, the Governor said the medical device industry has been growing for over a decade.

“The state’s medical device sector has been growing consistently over the past several years. That growth has created an export machine as well; a significant portion of our state’s exports are medical devices, helping to keep jobs here in Massachusetts,” he told the 450 members of MassMEDIC.

Also presented at today’s conference were data from an ongoing study of talent needs in the life sciences industry in Massachusetts.  Results from a survey of life sciences employers show that while most jobs in the sector require higher education, approximately a third of positions with medical device companies are occupied by workers with less than a four-year degree.   Study findings also indicate that medical device firms are having difficulty hiring employees with experience in clinical research; marketing and sales; and legal and regulatory affairs.

“The entire life sciences sector represents about 100,000 jobs in the state,” said Dr. J. Lynn Griesemer, executive director of the UMass Donahue Institute and director of the workforce study. “What we see in the data is that the medical device sector creates jobs for all levels of education, and offers more opportunities for workers with less than a Bachelor’s degree than the rest of the sector,” she added.  “In addition to expertise in science and engineering, the industry is increasingly looking for business and technology skills,” she continued.  “So, workers with degrees in other fields such as marketing, law, and information technology are in growing demand in the life sciences, including medical devices.”

“Every year we’re seeing more and more growth in the medical device industry in Massachusetts, and I think the UMass study only confirms that the medical device industry is a critical component of our innovation economy,” said Tom Sommer, president of MassMEDIC.

In addition to the Governor’s remarks and Griesemer’s workforce data, Red SoxCEOLarry Lucchino addressed the conference attendees.

Other highlights of the MassMEDIC annual meeting included:

Creating Covidien – How it Happened: Amy A. Wendell, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Covidien, talked about how the company transitioned from Tyco Healthcare to become a global medtech leader, its priorities for moving forward, and what this means for the Massachusetts medical device community.

The Future of Medical Device Innovation – Doing Well & Doing Good: Edward J. Ludwig, Chairman, President and CEO of BD, offered his perspective on the future of medical device innovation, based on his leadership role at BD and his recent chairmanship of the Advanced Medical Technology Association. He also discussed BD’s contributions to public health efforts worldwide, including the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Building a Winning Team: Boston Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino presented the keynote address on managing the Sox since 2002, helping lead the team to two World Series Championship victories.