Christoph Westphal’s June 9 op-ed “Protecting Boston’s biotech status” unfortunately mischaracterized the strength of the technology community in Massachusetts. As noted by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute in a report this year for our organization, the Massachusetts tech sector is thriving and growing, with 13,500 tech firms employing more than 209,000 workers, or 6.5 percent of the state’s workforce — more than biopharma and clean tech combined.
We have the second-highest concentration of tech sector jobs in the nation, and, significantly, the third-highest concentration of technology occupations across all sectors, which should come as no surprise given the tech-intensive nature of our innovation economy.
Our focus, however, should not be on the differences among our sectors, but rather on supporting and promoting the entire innovation economy — from tech to bio to clean energy to health care and beyond. In fact, in its recent Impact 2020 report, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council highlighted the interrelationship of these vital sectors working together, combining cutting-edge biomedical research with new information technology tools for capturing and integrating data, conducting sophisticated analytics, and enhancing personal connectivity. Massachusetts is a national and world leader in the growing field of life science information technology.
The breadth and scope of our innovation economy is our calling card for the future, and we need a cooperative and balanced growth plan across all sectors to ensure that we take full advantage of all our strengths.