Exact Sciences (copy)

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Paul Jadin, president of the Madison Region Economic Partnership, recently toured the labs of Exact Sciences -- the Madison area's fast-growing bioscience company -- guided by CEO Kevin Conroy, center. Exact's Cologuard is a noninvasive, DNA-based test for colorectal cancer.

Wisconsin’s bioscience industry includes more than 1,600 companies that provide jobs for nearly 36,000 people and pay a salary well above that of the average employee in the state, a new study shows.

Bioscience workers, on average, make $73,241 — more than $30,000 above the average pay of Wisconsin private-sector employees, according to the 2015 Wisconsin Bioscience Economic Development Report, released Wednesday.

The report, by the Ernst and Young consultant firm, is based on 2013 statistics. It was presented to the Bioscience Summit, a daylong conference for the biotechnology industry on Wednesday at Monona Terrace.

It says in addition to the 36,000 jobs within bioscience statewide, the industry is an indirect factor in nearly 70,000 other jobs in Wisconsin, creating a total economic impact of $27 billion.

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The study is meant to let the state know how important its bioscience industry is to the economy, said Lisa Johnson, CEO of BioForward, the organization representing the industry.

“We are celebrating the strength we do have in this state and how we need to collaborate in the future as the lines become blurred between the various sectors such as health IT, diagnostics, medical devices, therapeutics, and even agbio,” Johnson said. “For Wisconsin to compete globally, we all must be aligned and have a shared vision.”

The 2013 employment figures include about 7,000 workers at Epic Systems Corp., the Verona company that is a major force in developing electronic health records, but they do not include employees of Epic consultant firms, Johnson said.

About 300 people are expected to attend the Bioscience Summit. The event will also mark the start of an awards program for the industry. UW-Madison renowned vitamin D researcher Hector DeLuca will be honored for scientific achievement, and Bill Linton, founder and CEO of Promega Corp., a Fitchburg life sciences product company, will get the award for business achievement.

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