STEM: Growing Our Next Generation of Innovators
Strengthening America’s standing in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education  is critical to U.S. economic growth and sustainability. STEM education provides younger generations with a broad range of career options and is critical to developing our next generation of innovators. This type of education offers the necessary training for students who wish to enter the STEM fields and follow the footsteps of scientific heroes who have helped build the space shuttle, developed the computer chip, and developed life-enhancing and life-saving medicines for millions of patients worldwide.
STEM workers drive our nation’s innovation and competiveness by generating new ideas, new companies, and new industries. Investing in STEM education and attracting more youth to STEM fields is critical to increasing the supply and quality of knowledge workers whose specialized skills are critical to R&D intensive industries such as biopharmaceutical industry.
Scientists and other STEM workers are the heart and soul of the biopharmaceutical enterprise. Without scientists and other STEM workers, our industry—and the life-saving therapies it develops—would cease to exist. Nearly three-quarters of biopharmaceutical and life sciences CEOs have reported a limited supply of STEM workers as a key challenge, and expressed concern that the U.S. is in danger of losing its global leadership position because of a shortage of STEM talent.
As you can imagine, biopharmaceutical research companies recognize the need to improve STEM education in the U.S. and attract youth to STEM education beginning in elementary school and on through college and beyond, as these future STEM workers are critical to developing new treatments and potential cures for cancer, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s.
Research-intensive, science-driven sectors such as the biopharmaceutical sector play an important role in helping to support students pursuing careers in the STEM fields. PhRMA member companies have a vital interest in STEM education because they realize that too much is at stake if our nation loses its medical innovation edge and other countries win the coveted title that the U.S. currently enjoys as the world-leader in innovation.