EDCUtah Nov. 24, 2009
Newsletter Archive
Economic Review
Jeff Edwards, president & CEO of EDCUtah President's Message
EDCUtah is Thankful for Its Investors and the Cooperative Efforts of Public and Private Sector Leaders

EDCUtah has had a fantastic fall, with a record number of new inquiries and significant project progress, which we expect to continue through the holiday season. It isn't luck that brings companies looking at Utah. Rather, it is the cooperative nature of our public and private sectors and the many partnerships within the state that are focused on economic development.

To express our appreciation, on December 16, 2009, EDCUtah will host its annual open house for investors and friends here at One Utah Center, in downtown Salt Lake City. I hope you will join us, so that the entire EDCUtah team may personally thank you for your work in helping make Utah a better place to live, work and play. Thank you and have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the economic development-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards
President and CEO

Join the Utah Pavilion at BIO 2010

In the News

Congratulations to ReAL Salt Lake -- Major League Soccer champions! Here are a few links to stories with all the details.
(Salt Lake Tribune) (Salt Lake Tribune) (ABC 4) (USA Today) (KSL) (Deseret News)

Utah continues to rank high in economic developments
The Governor's Office of Economic Development is pleased that Utah cities and the State of Utah continues to receive economic development recognition in national surveys.
(Standard-Examiner) (Utah Pulse)

Herbert appoints 2 to development board
Gov. Gary Herbert on Wednesday announced the appointment of two new members to the Governor's Office of Economic Development Board. Rob Adams and Peter Mouskondis replace Bill Boyle and Richard Nelson, respectively.
(Deseret News)

New battery could change world, one house at a time
In a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.
(Daily Herald)

Park City teams with USU Energy Dynamics Lab, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business to reduce carbon footprint
Utah State University's Energy Dynamics Laboratory and the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business have teamed with Park City, Utah, to conduct an energy feasibility study that will serve as a guide as Park City works to reach major milestones for environmental sustainability and alternative energy.
(Utah Pulse)

University of Utah doctor working on pill for age-related blindness
National health surveys have estimated that more than 21.2 million adult Americans report they either "have trouble" seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, or that they are blind or unable to see at all, according to the American Foundation for the Blind.
(Deseret News)

City OKs use of eminent domain / Land to be used for Ogden River Redevelopment Project Area
Outgoing Councilman Jesse Garcia called it the most difficult decision he has made in 16 years on the city council. The council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, voted 5-2 Tuesday to authorize the use of eminent domain to take three residential properties for the Ogden River Redevelopment Project Area.

Utah job losses haven't hit bottom yet
The Wasatch Front may have led most of the nation in job growth before the recession began, but that may be cold comfort as Utah struggles to restart after its worst recession in 75 years, KeyBank's chief investment strategist said Wednesday.
(Salt Lake Tribune) (Deseret News)

High hopes in tough times / Layton Hills Mall owners find reasons for optimism
Being down an anchor tenant this Christmas shopping season in a tight economy has done nothing to diminish the hopes of the owners of the Layton Hills Mall.

Provo OKs $45M plan for downtown
In a pair of regularly scheduled Tuesday meetings, county commissioners and Provo council members launched a $45 million plan to significantly reshape Provo's downtown. The millions come from the county, through a bond, to build a much ballyhooed downtown convention center.
(Daily Herald)

Editorial: Rockets may save jobs
ATK took a hit with the phaseout of the space shuttle, with more than 500 jobs lost, but the Top of Utah rocket producer may yet save 700 more jobs that are in a wait-and-see approach.

Utah ski resorts all spruced up and ready for season
At a time when consumers demand value and convenience, Utah's 13 ski resorts are doing their best to consistently offer access and a quality experience to their customers.
(Deseret News)

Factory outlet store holds grand opening in Ogden
At the new Amer Sports factory outlet store on Saturday, Genevie Noriega and her husband John walked among the racks of coats and other outdoor wear, pausing occasionally to check the prices on merchandise with brand names like Atomic and Salomon.
(Salt Lake Tribune)


December 15

"Enlightened Entrepreneurs" -- Speed Mentoring and Networking for the Common Good (Press Release)

December 16
Holiday Open House (EDCUtah)

May 3-6, 2010
BIO (Chicago, IL)

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The EDCUtah Economic Review is a weekly publication of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. It is distributed to EDCUtah partners and selected other government and civic organizations interested in Utah's economic development.

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Newsletter Archive

Feature Story
Another Biotech Company Expands to Utah

The State of Utah continues to see a strong level of interest from biotech and life science companies looking for a favorable place to relocate or expand their operations.

In October, Edwards Lifesciences, the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring, announced that it will transfer and expand the manufacturing of its market-leading cannula and embolic protection devices (utilized by cardiac surgeons during open-heart surgery) from its existing Midvale, Utah facility to A new facility in Draper during the first half of 2010 as the first step of a long-planned expansion.

The company accepted an $11.5M incentive offer from the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) to expand its Utah operations. The incentive is based upon retaining the current 228 Utah jobs and the creation of more than 1,000 projected new jobs in manufacturing, business and engineering during the life of the 15-year incentive period. The new jobs are expected to exceed 125 percent of the current Salt Lake County average salary. The company also accepted an incentive from the City of Draper for approximately $3 million based on capital investments and employment rates over a seven-year incentive period.

"Our new facility will allow us to evolve our world class operations to support Edwards' long-term global product supply strategy," said Paul C. Redmond, Edwards' corporate vice president, Global Corporate Operations. "We are very grateful to the Governor's Office of Economic Development in Utah and the Draper City Council for their extraordinary efforts in working with us to ensure our success in creating a stronger and more customer-focused company, poised for even more growth in the future."

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Edwards Lifesciences currently has more than 6,300 employees worldwide.

A Key Utah Industry
Governor Gary Herbert, who has made growing Utah businesses a cornerstone of his economic development platform, said the decision by Edwards Lifesciences is a great example of what can happen, and what is happening, in Utah. "With its focus on technology and innovation, Edwards Lifesciences is a great addition to Utah's thriving life science industry," he adds.

GOED Executive Director Spencer Eccles said life sciences is a key targeted industry for the state, noting that the "expansion of Edwards Lifesciences in this sector of the state and its leadership in heart valves and critical care monitoring will help keep Utah a national leader in this arena."

Earlier this year, two other biotech companies announced their plans to locate or expand in Utah:

  • WorldHeart Corp., a leader in ventricle assist devices, announced in July the relocation of its corporate headquarters from Oakland, CA to Salt Lake City.
  • Cephalon Inc., announced in June its plans for the expansion of its existing Utah pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. The growth was the result of the company's desire to become more efficient and will result in all of the company's manufacturing operations being located in Utah.

"For businesses desiring an innovative and stable environment, Utah stands out as a prime location for expansion and relocation," noted EDCUtah President & CEO Jeff Edwards.

The state has put a great deal of emphasis on running an efficient government, which has resulted in low taxes, stable revenue streams and a consistent operating environment. This has been accomplished while continuing to invest in education and infrastructure, all of which has helped position Utah as one of the top states in the country for business.

EDCUtah data shows that the companies in Utah's life science industry provide roughly 66,000 high-paying, high-quality jobs and generate an estimated $3.6 billion in annual wages. Utah State Science Advisor Tami Goetz said there are several key reasons for Utah's attractive and flourishing life science industry:

  1. Utah offers nationally recognized education and training programs in biotechnology or applied bioscience and biomanufacturing for high school and undergraduate students. These programs help to ensure that life science companies have access to a well-trained workforce.
  2. Utah is home to world class research universities that provide a strong core of accessible scientific and technical expertise. This results in a diverse range of collaborative opportunities and an infrastructure to support commercialization efforts.

In 2007, GOED was awarded a $5 million federal Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant, which is being devoted to life sciences-related education and training. The funding was granted in response to an application created by GOED and the Department of Workforce Services in collaboration with a variety of leading Utah life science executives, companies and researchers.

The current program had its root in a two-year biotech-oriented science, technology and math (STEM) curriculum offered by Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) for high school juniors and seniors in 2001. SLCC is currently partnering with Utah Valley University (UVU) to expand the program into a four-year degree, while the Granite Technical High School and SLCC continue to develop a skills-based biotech program that teaches participants to perform quality assurance, process validation and FDA compliance, and to work in clean-room environments.

"The WIRED grant is both a validation of our approach to workforce development and a timely resource for accelerating Utah's efforts to provide relevant training to meet the diverse needs of the state's growth companies in the life sciences area," said Goetz. "Our workforce development program is evolving from the ongoing feedback we're receiving from industry, which will provide a ready workforce for employers and diverse qualifications and opportunities for graduates of these programs."

The WIRED grants are currently funding a variety of practical, hands-on educational and hands-on training programs in collaboration with public and higher education and industry partners, designed to engage, recruit, educate/train and retain a quality life-science workforce.

Utah Innovations
Utah's health care system also benefits from the state's leading position in biotechnology and life sciences research and commercialization. Utah's research universities and companies, such as Myriad Genetics, Merit Medical, Lineagen, Sonic Innovations, and ZARS Pharma are pioneering groundbreaking research in life sciences like proteomics, targeted drug therapies/drug delivery systems and medical devices.

What's more, innovations in molecular diagnostics, genetic research and databases, and other advanced technologies will continue to keep Utah on the forefront of the fast-changing biotechnology industry. For example, to date, the University of Utah has identified more disease-related genes than any other university in the world and produced Nobel Prize-winning research. Utah has played a leading role in key biotechnology and genetics-based breakthroughs that are revolutionizing medicine and healthcare delivery worldwide. Among Utah's significant "firsts" are the following:

  • Roots of the Human Genome Project
  • Multi-generational Family DNA Research Participation
  • Utah Population Database (UPDB)
  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2007

Utah offers a world-class effort in arterial and vascular access devices, producing 70 percent of all devices used worldwide. In addition, Utah is very active in the biotech and drug delivery sectors. The Utah Population Database, coupled with the state's genealogy records, is the world's most comprehensive of its type. This has led to the discovery of more human genes than anywhere else in the world and will, in time, translate into major technology being applied to the emerging field of personalized medicine.

In 2008, Utah also hosted the first National Summit on Personalized Health Care, an annual event convened by then Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. The honorary 2008 co-chairs were U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services Secretary Michael Leavitt and Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. The summit is an invitation-only event that brings together leading stakeholders in personalized health care in order to achieve a common understanding of the possible future for health care, especially based on the use of new tools of genomics, molecular diagnostics and informatics.