Strengthening America’s standing in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is critical to continued scientific and technological innovation, which fosters sustained economic growth and global competitiveness, and helps patients live longer, healthier, more productive lives.
Unfortunately, the U.S. faces a rising gap in STEM skills compared to countries such as Japan, China and parts of Europe, which are making substantial public investments in STEM. As an industry rooted in science and innovation, the biopharmaceutical research sector is particularly concerned by the shortage of highly skilled workers in the U.S.
A new Battelle Technology Partnership Practice report, STEM: Building a 21st Century Workforce to Develop Tomorrow’s New Medicines, supported by PhRMA, reveals how innovative biopharmaceutical companies and their foundations are leading the way in supporting improvements in U.S. education, making significant financial and in-kind contributions through a broad range of local, state and national initiatives. The report details efforts by two dozen PhRMA member companies and their foundations to help create a sustainable 21st century innovation workforce.
Among the report’s findings:
- More than 90 individual initiatives focused on students and/or teachers in STEM-related fields have been supported by these 24 companies and their foundations since 2008.
- These efforts have reached over 1.6 million students and 17,500 teachers across the U.S., with 85 percent of the industry-sponsored STEM programs focused on K-12.
- More than $100 million invested by the 24 companies and their foundations in STEM-related initiatives since 2008, including nearly 600 individual grants.
- Almost 27,000 hours of volunteer time collectively logged by nearly 4,500 industry employees over the past five years.
- Equipment donations and the use of biopharmaceutical company laboratory facilities.
- More than 30 individual company programs specifically geared towards increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering and math fields.