Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Biosciences

Committed to Advancing Biosciences

While the majority of the bioscience companies in Arkansas are small research and testing laboratories that employ between one and 10 people, the state has a significant base of industries and research laboratories involved in agricultural-related bioscience, a growing biomedical base and a major employer in medical equipment and supplies.

Agricultural biosciences in Arkansas include Riceland Foods, the world's largest miller and marketer of rice and Tyson Foods, the world's largest producer of protein products including chicken, beef and pork. Tyson operates a food-safety laboratory near its Springdale headquarters, which provides the latest technology in food testing and research. 

The largest medical devices and equipment company in Arkansas, Baxter Healthcare Corporation - a subsidiary of Baxter International - is located in Mountain Home, employs approximately 800 and produces health care products such as dialyzers, disposable blood containers and disposable IV containers.

UAMS Arkansas BioVentures and its Technology Licensing Office translates University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences research into products that benefit human health and offers companies access to university resources and a business incubator facility. 

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Arkansas is home to 24 four-year colleges & universities and 22 two-year public colleges.

Companies finding success in Arkansas

Arkansas Biosciences Institute is an agricultural and medical research consortium dedicated to improving the health of Arkansans. 

Tom Chilton

Director, Science and Technology
(501) 682-7322
(501) 682-7394
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Incentives
  • Income Tax Credits
  • Infrastructure Grants
  • Payroll Rebates
  • Sales Tax Credits & Refunds
Education/Workforce

Arkansas offers bioscience companies access to a well qualified and affordable workforce. Because of the existing cluster of businesses already located in the state, the workforce is prepared for jobs created by new companies in this sector.

Research focused on agriculture, food and life sciences, forest resources, medical sciences and technology is conducted through the following Arkansas institutions and programs:

  • University of Arkansas Department of Poultry Science
  • Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences (University of Arkansas)
  • University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation
  • University of Arkansas Innovation Center
  • The Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture
  • The Arkansas Forest Resources Center at the University of Arkansas at Monticello
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration's National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson County - the only FDA center located outside of Washington D.C.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center
  • Arkansas Biosciences Institute
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
  • UAMS Arkansas BioVentures 
  • Arkansas Research Alliance
  • Arkansas Research and Technology Park in Fayetteville
  • Argenta Innovation Center in North Little Rock
  • Arkansas Science & Technology Authority (ASTA)
Available Buildings and Sites

The University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation manages the Arkansas Research and Technology Park in Fayetteville. One of the research facilities in the park is GENESIS, a technology-oriented business incubator that offers a variety of services to qualifying technology-intensive entrepreneurs who desire to base their operations in Northwest Arkansas during the critical early stages of company development.

The University of Arkansas Innovation Center promotes specialized skills training, education, research and technical support and provides office and laboratory space for technology-intensive companies, especially those graduating from the GENESIS Technology Incubator.

The Arkansas Innovation Hub in North Little Rock is a 15,000 square foot space that includes a co-working space and technology lab. 

Plans are underway for development of a technology/entrepreneurship park in downtown Little Rock.

Transportation & Infrastructure

Arkansas is centrally located between Mexico City and Montreal, offering easy access to 40% of the U.S. population. The state's transportation infrastructure provides a variety of efficient options to get products to market. Major market centers in the region include Memphis, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and St. Louis.

Highways

  • I-40, reaching from North Carolina to California, runs through Arkansas
  • I-55 links eastern Arkansas to St. Louis & Chicago to the north and New Orleans to the south
  • I-30 connects Arkansas with markets to the southwest, including Texas and Mexico

Rail

  • 3 Class I Systems: Union Pacific, BNSF Railway and Kansas City Southern Railway
  • Union Pacific operates major yards in Little Rock and Pine Bluff
  • 22 smaller railroads operate over more than 2,700 miles of track
  • 40 available sites which are rail served

Air

  • Major commercial airports are located in Central and Northwest Arkansas: The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport has 120+ flight arrivals and departures each day, with non-stop jet service to 14 national/international gateway cities. Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport provides non-stop service to 14 national/international gateway cities on nearly 50 flights each day.
  • Memphis International Airport is located less than 15 miles from the Arkansas state line
  • 6 regional airports located throughout the state

Water

  • 3 ports located along the Arkansas River: Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Fort Smith 
  • 4 Mississippi River terminals: Osceola, West Memphis, Helena and McGehee