The life sciences in New Jersey continue to play a major role in the the state's economy, according to the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey's 2011 economic impact survey. Dean Paranicus, President and CEO, says it was a $24.2 billion industry in 2010. "That is a very significant component of New Jersey's economy."

"Although we had 20 percent fewer companies participating in this year's survey, those that did supply data demonstrate that the life sciences industry continues to be a major economic driver in New Jersey," said Paranicus.

Paranicas also said that the data submitted by the 16 HINJ member companies that participated in both the 2010 and 2011 surveys shows that the economic impact of those companies was generally constant, at $23.9 billion in 2010 and $24.5 billion in calendar year 2009.

There are major bright spots for future economic activity as well, said Paranicus. "Research and development spending in New Jersey was up by 11.4 % to $6.1 billion and and medical device trials conducted by reporting companies soared 49.1 percent."

More companies will also be expanding or relocating to the state.

"We are continuing to see a strong life sciences investment in New Jersey and that is positive all around."

Its not all good news, though. Paranicus says the state continues to face stiff competition from around the country and the world. "Our leaders in Trenton and Washington need to do whatever they can to make sure that New Jersey is an attractive place to do business."