top of page
  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

$ 796 Billion and 310,000 Jobs – That’s the Financial Return on the $ 3.8 Billion Invest

The Human Genome Project is one part of the stunning leaps in medical and biological science over the last 30 years. Today, lives are saved by what we now know and can do, and lives of course are priceless.

As if that’s not enough, now look at the eye-popping ROI numbers for the Human Genome Project. $ 796 billion and 310,000 jobs in return for a $3.8 billion investment. Even if we allow for some puffery or generous accounting, the numbers are stunning. The text pasted below is just part of this excellent blog post by Donald Zuhn on Patent Docs (they are Chicago-based PhD patent lawyers for bio and pharma).

Imagine what might happen to save more lives if our nation fully invested in stem cells by having the wisdom to reject the their purported "morality" in favor of saving lives. Imagine how many new jobs might be generated if our nation finds the courage to keep investing in science despite the screams of the deficit hawks who sat silently while Bush turned a surplus into a deficit. Imagine the economy if we as a nation supported science as well as we’ve supported the financial services industry. And, by the way, when was the last time you saw an investment banker save a life with her knowledge ?


"Earlier this month, the Battelle Memorial Institute announced the issuance of a report concerning the economic impact of the Human Genome Project. In the report, the research group indicated that the return on the $3.8 billion the U.S. government invested in the project between 1988 and 2003 totaled $796 billion. The report also indicated that the project has created some 310,000 jobs (as of 2010), generating $244 billion in total personal income. In 2010 alone, the project and associated genomics research and industry activity generated $67 billion in economic output, supported jobs that produced $20 billion in personal income, and provided $3.7 billion in federal taxes — almost paying back the government’s total investment in the project in a single year. In addition, Battelle noted that the project had launched a "genomic revolution" that would "create significantly more jobs in the future."

The report also noted that the project led to significant breakthroughs including new forms of personalized medicine and genetics therapy, greater productivity in agriculture, and potential sources of renewable energy. Life Technologies CEO Greg Lucier (the report was sponsored by Life Technologies’ foundation) stated that "[f]rom a simple return on investment, the financial stake made in mapping the entire human genome is clearly one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars the U.S. government has ever made," adding that "[t]his project has been, and will continue to be, the kind of investment the government should foster."

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page