The Human Genome Project showed excellent return on investment. It generated $141 for the economy for every $1 spent!
The Human Genome Project is an international public project led by the United States. The sequencing of the human genome was considered the single largest undertaking in the history of biological science, but it only took 13 years to sequence human DNA under the Human Genome Project, which is an enormous achievement.
Of course, determining the complete sequence of the 3 billion DNA base pairs and identifying each human gene was going to require immense resources. New technology had to be developed and an interdisciplinary team of biologists had to be assembled. There was also a need for physicists, chemists, computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
The knowledge gained from the HGP is now invaluable in developing medicines that can prevent and treat human disease, but it also made it possible to diagnose these diseased at a very early stage. Since the first sequences were published, a lot has been said about the scientific consequences of mapping the human genome, but not so much about the economic consequences. What effect did it have on the economy?
Between 1998 and 2010 the HGP directly and indirectly generated $796 billion in US economic output! It has generated $244 billion in personal income for Americans and has created an astonishing 3.8 million job years of employment.