Economically speaking, for years the Philadelphia story has been "eds" and "meds."
That’s the local shorthand for the influence of institutions of higher learning and the life sciences industry — a concentration of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical-device companies — on Philadelphia’s evolution from a manufacturing-based economy.
The combination of the two has been a formidable anchor during the recession.
A 2007 report from Select Greater Philadelphia, an economic development group, estimated that 88 colleges and universities in the area (there are now more than 100) accounted for 4 to 7 percent of the region’s total economic activity.
And life sciences endeavors are responsible for one of every six jobs in the region and 15 percent of the Philadelphia-area economy, according a report this summer from the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association.