Nearly two dozen Colorado organizations hope to leverage the momentum of a growing life sciences sector in the state with a new campaign that recruits more companies to locate here.

The effort, called the Colorado Hub for Health Impact, touts the state’s highly educated talent pool, central U.S. location, successful fundraising and more as reasons to make Colorado a hub for health innovation, its leaders say.

Announced Feb. 27, the campaign builds on other statewide efforts that seek to bring more high-paying and skilled jobs to the state, particularly those in advanced manufacturing in the semiconductor ecosystem and quantum technology. Many groups are rallying around efforts to snag federal funding that would build out more job opportunities for those areas in Colorado.

Those in the life sciences consortium, however, say much of their infrastructure is already in place. They argue that now is the time to use companies’ recent success to launch a more robust presence in the state.

“As we’ve been galvanizing around those successes … the community in that collaborative spirit has really said, ‘Now’s the time. Let’s come together and really pool this collective passion and energy and that shared vision,'” Elyse Blazevich, president and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association, told the Denver Business Journal.

In 2023, life sciences companies in Colorado surpassed the $1 billion benchmark in their fundraising efforts for the seventh year in a row, according to the association’s annual report. While that was down from a 2021 peak of $2.4 billion, pre-seed and seed funding through venture capital more than doubled over 2022.

“We’re really optimistic about what 2024 holds in terms of momentum for fundraising,” Blazevich said.

Other members of the new campaign include the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Fitzsimons Innovation Community, the U.S. 36 Collaborative and 19 other groups representing Front Range players.

Daniel Ryley, vice president of corporate attraction at Metro Denver EDC, said about 10% of his organization’s active recruitment projects include bioscience companies. Another 15% are in the advanced advanced manufacturing space, some of which also support the bioscience sector, he said.

“It feels that there’s a dam ready to burst, if you will, with a lot of energy wanting to flow into our region in this space,” Ryley said.

Blazevich said life sciences clusters are emerging up and down the Front Range, from Fort Collins and Greeley to Boulder, metro Denver and Douglas County.

The highest concentration of life sciences assets is along the U.S. 36 corridor, including Boulder, Broomfield, Louisville and Westminster, at 31% of the state total, according to campaign statistics. They are concentrated on fields in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, animal health and more.

Among other benefits, the campaign highlights Colorado as having the highest concentration of bioengineers and biomedical engineers in the nation, as well as a leading state in a population that has attained higher education overall.

Read the Biz Journal article here.