Focus industries

The profiles of the focus industries in Massachusetts are Life Sciences, Finance, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy, Defense, Creative and Maritime.

Massachusetts claims the No. 1 spot nationally in high-tech research and development


Technology is fueling what is known as the Commonwealth’s innovation economy. The state’s thriving network of medical labs, academic institutions and biotechnology startups has drawn lucrative partnerships with major companies like Celgene Corp., Baxter International, and Roche Holding Ltd. In Switzerland. Roche plans to invest $1 billion in Foundation Medicine Inc., a cancer research business in Cambridge.

While California remains the leader in tech-based entrepreneurs and venture capital, Massachusetts claims the No. 1 spot nationally in high-tech research and development, testing and life science industries, according to the Boston Globe.

Life sciences

Described as a “super cluster” of universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals, the life science industry is one of the most robust, according to the state housing and economic development agency. More than 550 biotech and drug development companies do business in Massachusetts, with close to 1,400 drugs in development. Prestigious universities like Harvard and MIT play an important role in the life science industry along with research hospitals. In 2013, five research hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institutes were the top medical centers receiving NIH funding. 

There is a renewed energy present throughout Boston and the entire region


Brokerage firms, software firms and insurance powerhouses like New York Life, Vanguard and Liberty Mutual Group are headquartered in Massachusetts. The state’s capital, Boston, is home to a majority of the 12 Fortune 500 companies doing business in the Bay State.

Information Technology

Massachusetts ranks 14th in population and yet ranks 9th for IT worker employment, primarily due to its Boston-based tech hub. There is a renewed energy present throughout Boston and the entire region that is making Beantown a tech mecca in its own right. This renaissance is being driven by local successes at companies ranging from early-stage startups to established technology giants, who are all taking an interest in talent and companies in the region. It’s not Silicon Valley or Alley – Boston has a unique tech DNA and culture; one that is collaborative in nature.

Creative Industries

Massachusetts defines the creative industries to include without limitation the many interlocking industry sectors that center on providing creative services such as advertising, architecture or creating and promoting intellectual property products such as arts, film, computer games, multimedia, or design.


The manufacturing industry is a long-time staple of the Bay State’s economy. Leading the list of manufactured products are computer and electronic equipment such as microchips, communication devices including military communication systems, and automation products, according to


More than 2.5 million pounds of fish are netted each year in the Bay State’s waters around Boston, according to That bounty has made food processing and storage a significant slice of the state’s economy.