Demand for life science labs has been on the rise in recent years, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A life science laboratory houses researchers and scientists who can directly contribute to health, along with other fields.
Vaccines are just one example of what can come out of a life science lab.
The changing market invites new opportunities for researchers, as well as contractors for building these labs. Learn more about this increasing demand for life science labs and what it can do for you.
In terms of numbers, the employment growth rate for life sciences has increased to more than 15% since 2017—which is higher growth than the tech industry. It makes sense when you think of the global context: many people saw the value in life science research when it came to advancements in the medical field, like vaccines.
Life sciences can be a multidisciplinary degree from a university, but researchers can also come from more specialized backgrounds. For example, stem cell research can be conducted in a lab by a biology researcher.
Biochemical engineering and other specialized fields can find themselves working in labs, which they are drawn to because of the high-end facilities. In the same way universities attract STEM students (with their top-class laboratories), researchers are then drawn to labs that offer the same or better equipment to continue their studies.
The coronavirus pandemic brought a stronger awareness of the work that goes into developing vaccines and other forms of medical care. With this newfound public interest, there sprang a higher demand for more of these labs and a widespread desire for funding for these endeavors.
This also extends to the realty business as well. The fast-paced pursuit of scientific development prompts a search for property. Investors want to find potential properties to build or convert into laboratories to rent out, and researchers look for a good lab to set up their projects in.
Through this process, the demand for life science labs is not just limited to those who work in the lab but also those who contribute to the creation or state of the lab, to begin with.
Benefits of More Life Science Labs
Accommodating more researchers in high-end facilities means expedited scientific advancement. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to produce efficient vaccines.
There is no shortage of disease and medical problems needing to be addressed, and lab settings are one of the best ways to find solutions (either preventing or treating the problem).
More life science labs also prompt the creation of more jobs and opportunities, as will be addressed later in more detail. Beyond just the advancement of knowledge and innovation, life science labs require specialized equipment which must be manufactured, shipped, and distributed.
Without this investment in life science labs, a shortage of openings could result in the discouragement of potential researchers. Job prospects are a large consideration in career choice, so having multiple options for life science researchers to find labs can promote more people to engage with that industry and area.
This means even more people actively working to develop the newest and greatest medical innovations.
Influences on Scientific Discoveries
The more life science labs there are, the more researchers can be working at one time. The resources available through life science labs can be crucial for medical development. With the latest technologies at their fingertips, funded researchers can make large strides in their field.
These scientific discoveries are widespread, with many directly tied to the medical field. Emerging trends in life sciences place a lot of emphasis on human recovery and aid. Cell and gene therapy is a large subarea of life science research.
Cell therapy, immunotherapies, and cancer vaccines are some examples of advancements made possible by lab work. Gene therapy includes the modification or manipulation of genes for therapeutic purposes.
Another sub-sector flourishing with the expansion of life sciences is biomanufacturing. This is a process where technologies exit the laboratory environment for mass production and distribution.
This ability to create and disperse means advancements in the lab can actually be shared. It also means more care can be taken in making sure there are safe ways for people to handle these new technologies, as many people will have to in the case of mass production and distribution.
Vaccines are the most well-known products of life science labs, especially as various COVID-19 vaccines grew in popularity. There are non-medical discoveries that have emerged from life science labs too, however.
Ecology is another subsection under “life sciences” that can operate in a lab environment. Through this process, ecological researchers can study the relationships between different actors in the natural environment and ultimately discover the best way to keep natural equilibrium.
Impacts on the Job Market
With higher demand for life science labs comes a higher demand for researchers to run and work in those labs. Life sciences and biotech research has seen a steady increase in job growth in the past year.
Given the rate of industry growth compared to the number of biomedical and biological engineering graduates, there will be higher demand than supply for these workers.
The intersection of technology and medicine has expanded, both in terms of scientific possibility and in the labor force. Advances in equipment and theory create new employment opportunities, as there are numerous jobs to fill in the lab.
In addition, the results of lab work can eventually produce more jobs outside the lab. Vaccines may be created inside a life science lab, for example, but the mass production and distribution of them require other suppliers and laborers.
Building life science labs is also an expansion of the job market. Whether new spaces are built for these laboratories or current buildings are renovated, work needs to be done to get the facility up and running.
This can mean new opportunities for real estate, architects, construction workers, and other pre-research operations.
After a lab is built, it also needs to be supplied with the right equipment and furniture. This brings new jobs as well for suppliers and retailers.
Safety equipment such as eye wash stations must be produced, as well as shipped and installed.
Keeping labs up to date is also an important part of life sciences facilities. Again, due to the rapid advancement of technology, retaining skilled talent requires labs to offer the newest and up-to-date features.
According to CBRE, this also influences life sciences real estate; San Diego life science employment grew in tandem with its asking rent.
All of these individual components mean that the new demand for life science labs not only impacts specialized workers in the life sciences industry but also the construction and supplies industries.
The job market continues to find intersections and new niches as society progresses.
Investing in a Life Science Lab?
If you’re looking into the life sciences market or recently converted space into a life science lab, OnePointe Solutions can help provide equipment and furniture, including lab cabinets, tops, tables, fume hoods, and workbenches.
With our up-to-date knowledge of laboratory designs and equipment, our designers and contractors can help you get started with your lab endeavors.
Our team will work with your specific needs and create a plan for whatever you would like to get done with your laboratory, whether it already exists or not.