Medical equipment has been the leading biomedical sector in the East Bay (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties) over the past 10 years. From 2012 to 2022, the net number of medical equipment companies grew from 184 to 204 for an increase of about 11% while the number of medical equipment employees in the East Bay grew from 14,303 to 17,656, or over 23%. Analyzing individual companies’ employment needs over the last 10 years reveals significant growth at the largest and most established medical equipment companies.

Medical equipment companies, which make products for use by health care providers, including diagnostic, treatment, life-support, and lab equipment, offer a much broader range of employment opportunities from highly trained, well-paid scientists and engineers to middle and entry-level assembler and tester positions. This makes the growth of these East Bay medical equipment manufacturers critical for supporting the innovation climate of the region as well as the living wages for middle-skill people.

Growth has been especially driven by leading, long-running East Bay medical equipment companies such as Bio-Rad (Hercules), Roche (Pleasanton), Thermo Fisher (Fremont and Pleasanton), Grifols (Emeryville), Illumina (Hayward), Abbott (Alameda and Pleasanton), Baxter (Hayward), and Carl Zeiss (Dublin). New leaders such as Think Surgical (Fremont), RefleXion Medical (Hayward), and Cepheid (Newark) have also been engines of employment growth in the East Bay.

The reasons for the growth of the medical equipment sector in the East Bay include a broad range of critical regional resources. Foremost of these resources is an impressive supply of talent from UC Berkeley, Cal State East Bay, and community colleges, as well as from the three national labs in the East Bay, Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Sandia National Lab. In addition to talent, the East Bay provides important resources such as close-by suppliers of components and services, investment capital, attractive lab and production space, expedient city economic development and planning professionals, infrastructure for receiving and shipping, and helpful intermediaries who connect companies to the regional resources they need to grow, expand, and scale.

East Bay EDA is excited that its Resilient East Bay initiative is providing opportunities to help further strengthen and grow the region’s biomedical manufacturing sector. Stay connected with us by signing up for our monthly manufacturing newsletter and be on the lookout for events and other opportunities to engage with manufacturers and other key stakeholder networks in our region.