Ag-bioscience is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about which industries could contribute most to economic growth. However, this industry creates unrivaled jobs and revenue in comparison to other industry clusters!
AgFunderNews offers a great explanation of “ag-bioscience”: “Think of it as an equation – Ag+Bio+Science. It’s where food, agriculture, science and technology converge.” Some industries that fall into the category of ag-bioscience include crop and livestock production, waste capture, biomaterials production, food processing safety, and biofuels and energy production. Basically, from raising a chicken, to making use of its waste, to creating the technology needed to process it into a nugget, ag-bioscience encompasses a broad range of industries.
So which industries in the ag-bioscience cluster have the most potential to grow? In 2013, Bush Consulting Group identified 12 ag-bioscience focus areas in Northeast Ohio that could merit further exploration and investment based on their “scale, potential for competitive differentiation, and opportunity to drive job growth.” Some of the largest of these areas include hardwood logging, lumber, and furniture; packaged food and snacks; beef, pork, and meat processing; and diary and dairy products. In 2013, packaged food and snacks, for instance, was estimated to employ 5,090 people and bring $1,148 million in revenue to Northeast Ohio.
All together, these 12 ag-bioscience focus areas have brought much more employment and wealth to Northeast Ohio than other industry clusters. The 12 ag-bioscience focus areas “total an estimated regional full-time employment of nearly 19,000 jobs and $3.6 billion in revenues,” (Bush, p26) dwarfing the total employment and revenue from areas of advanced energy, flexible electronics, and industrial water.
Clearly, the ag-bioscience industry cluster has already established itself as a fantastic contributor to the Northeast Ohio economy. This aspect of the Agriculture Cluster provides an opportunity for growers/producers to align and expand offerings in support of the ag-bioscience companies in the region.
With projections like this, and most likely with the growth these numbers would see in an updated report, the foundation for Northeast Ohio’s cluster is strong. With the support of an organization like CFI and its partners, this can be a reality. Please sign up for our newsletter to keep up with our progress.