Join Now


Fueling the Growth of Utah’s Life Sciences Industry

Utah provides a variety of important resources, incentives, and novel programs that help companies grow from concept to commercialization and beyond. These resources connect the business community with funding and incentives needed to develop or advance your products and services. This page lists some of the programs available that support the entire life science cluster and help to address the industry’s tremendous growth opportunities.

Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative

The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) was established to diversify and catalyze the growth of Utah’s innovation economy. USTAR conducts its technology-based economic development mission through a diverse portfolio of programs and services focused in three areas: competitive grant programs, technology entrepreneurship services, and principal researchers. USTAR supports entrepreneurs, university researchers, and industry partnerships to build and strengthen the innovation ecosystem in Utah. Competitive grants provide funding for entrepreneurs and researchers at critical stages in technology development. USTAR also provides services through its Incubation Enterprise and satellite offices. This includes incubation programs for start-up businesses and assistance in accessing Federal SBIR/STTRprograms, as well as access to specialized equipment, training, and mentoring for technology entrepreneurs across the State.

Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development

The charter of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is based on Governor Herbert’s commitment to statewide economic development. The state’s economic vision is that Utah will lead the nation in economic performance and be recognized as a premier global business environment and tourist destination. The Utah GOED provides financial incentives to qualifying companies for creating new, high- paying jobs in Utah. These include corporate recruitment incentives and tax credits, such as the Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (EDTIF). Special consideration is given to companies within Utah’s economic clusters, including life sciences.

The University of Utah Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center

University of Utah’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center assists Utah manufacturing companies with services and consulting to increase their global competitiveness. MEP helps with staff training, certifications, manufacturing best-practices, product/process innovation, troubleshooting, and new market growth. MEP’s funding partners include GOED and the federal government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-MEP network.

Economic Development Corporation of Utah

The Economic Development Corporation of Utah (edcUtah), partially funded by the state, is the business-recruiting arm of Utah. Many of the businesses looking to relocate to the state are guided through the process by edcUtah staff. Thus, edcUtah plays a vital role in accelerating the growth of the life sciences industry.

EDTIF Tax Credit

The EDTIF credit provides tax credits to attract new commercial business and new jobs

to companies that are looking to expand existing businesses within the state or relocate their business from another state. The EDTIF credit has provided a positive incentive towards the growth of the life sciences industry in the state. For example:

  • In March 2017, Biomerics and GOED announced that the medical device plastics manufacturer will build its corporate headquarters in Utah, adding up to 380 jobs to the state and an estimated $38.5 million in capital investment. Biomerics specializes in the design, development and production of medical devices for diagnostics and interventional procedures for the cardiovascular, structural heart, cardiac rhythm management, and vascular access markets.
  • In October 2017, GOED announced Stryker’s expansion in the state, creating up to 540 additional jobs, generating $16.9 million in new state revenue and an estimated $100 million in capital investment. This expansion will add orthopoedic, spinal, and endoscopy product manufacturing to their current manufacture of neurovascular technologies.

State Technology Commercialization Grant Programs

The State of Utah offers a number of competitive technology commercialization grant programs. USTAR’s Technology Acceleration Program (TAP) offers non-dilutive funding for private sector entrepreneurs in the early stages of technology development (TRL 3-5) in targeted technology sectors. GOED’s Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program (TCIP) also offers non-dilutive funding to private sector entrepreneurs with slightly later-stage technologies (TRL 6-9) to bring their innovations to market. USTAR offersUniversity Technology Accelerations Grants (UTAG) that focus on technologies being developed in a university setting which have significant commercialization potential but which need additional development before they can be spun-off or licensed. Between these three grant programs, more than $12 million of non-dilutive funding is available annually. Although TAP, TCIP, and UTAG grants target multiple technology clusters, the majority of these grants are currently awarded to life sciences companies and researchers.

Angel Investment

The Salt Lake City Angels and Park City Angels are associations of accredited angel investors based in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, respectively. These investors share an interest in supporting early-stage, high-growth companies. The Salt Lake City Angels primarily invest in the Intermountain West and are interested in opportunities in technology, biotechnology, and consumer products. Over 80 percent of Park City Angels’ investments have been Utah-based, with investments in more than 15 life sciences companies in the state. These angel investors maintain an active interest in their invested companies, contributing to the growth of companies by participating on boards, providing active mentorship, and contributing through follow-on funding rounds.