STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
This report discusses forensic science industry technologies, commercial products, services, research and development initiatives, and the overall market context in which forensic science exists. The report provides descriptions of technologies and products, an evaluation of trends in the application of these technologies and products, identification of notable patents, and measurements and forecasts of market demand through 2018. Company profiles of leading companies are provided as well. Product and service categories examined include analytical instrumentation and supplies, drug identification, toxicology, fingerprinting and biometrics, DNA profiling and allied areas such as laboratory information management systems (LIMS), forensic accounting and computer/digital forensics, forensics consulting and other important niches.
REASONS FOR DOING THIS STUDY AND ITS IMPORTANCE
Public and private forensic labs, as well as forensic consulting services in the case of electronic evidence, analyze evidence from millions of cases annually. Although the market for forensic analyses and related products is smaller than the market for biotechnology and pharmaceutical products, crime laboratory analyses serve a critical function in society and thus the forensics sector continues to develop and expand.
The forensics business is one of the most dynamic sectors of the modern economy due to a unique confluence of technological change and social demands. In short, the capability of forensic techniques has grown by leaps and bounds; costs have dropped and hence decision makers have promoted forensics to a generally receptive public. Although the last couple of years have witnessed some controversy over the validity of certain forensic techniques, generally the demand trend for forensic products and services remains on an upswing. In addition to technological change in the forensics business, the impact of legal decisions, such the June 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing routine DNA “fingerprinting,” is critical in shaping the future of the business.
Technology advancements in forensics have been of considerable import in recent years. Examples include enhanced techniques for computer data and mobile device recovery (electronic evidence), successful use of “touch DNA” to prosecute property crimes, higher throughput and even “real-time” DNA sequencing machines for DNA identification, improved fingerprint recovery from metals such as gun cartridges and bomb fragments, use of the chemistry of color to identify chemical and biological weapons, and sensing technologies that are improving the detection of drugs and explosives at security checkpoints. Other advancements include portable DNA profiling techniques used at crime scenes, greater accuracy in ascertaining the age at death of crime victims and developments in scanning, facial recognition and biometrics. These technological advancements have reduced per unit costs in practical applications, thus enhancing the affordability of forensic applications and increasing their market penetration.
Greater use of DNA testing and other technologies has also brought high visibility to forensic testing. The number of crime laboratories in the U.S. performing forensic analyses grew from 300 in 1999 to an estimated 475 in 2013. Publicly funded forensic crime labs now spend in aggregate more than $1.6 billion per year.
With its broad scope and in-depth analyses, this study will prove to be a valuable resource, particularly for anyone involved with, or interested in, the forensic market for analytical instrumentation, drug and toxicology analysis, DNA profiling, fingerprinting/biometrics and computer forensics.
This study will be particularly useful for researchers, laboratory and government personnel working in research or company settings, as well as business professionals involved with analytical instrumentation, drug and toxicology analysis, DNA profiling, fingerprinting/biometrics and computer forensics. It also will be of value to potential investors and members of the general public interested in acquiring a business–oriented view of the forensic science industry.
The projections, forecasts and trend analyses found in this report provide readers with the necessary data and information for decision-making.
SCOPE AND FORMAT OF REPORT
In preparing this report, an overall study of the crime laboratory segment of the U.S. forensic science market was undertaken. Related areas provided key information as well, as newer areas such as computer forensics make up a growing share of the total forensics business. All areas of the forensics market are addressed including: identification of current and future technologies, products, market segments/end markets, and government and regulatory agencies. Participating companies are discussed in light of technological strengths and weaknesses, relative market share, marketing strengths and innovative marketing practices.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Data for this study were collected using both primary (phone interviews) and secondary data research methodologies. A literature search was conducted covering scientific, medical, business and technical documents, as well as patents. Since some segments of the forensics market are not routinely measured, BCC derived estimates from a variety of sources. Whenever market estimates are derived, they are fully noted. All forecasts are in current 2013 (nominal) dollars, unadjusted for inflation.
Kevin Gainer, research analyst, holds both B.A. and M.A. degrees in economic analysis and forecasting and has over 25 years of economic and market research experience. He is the author of six published books and dozens of technical papers, analyses and studies published in conference proceedings, including many unpublished proprietary analyses within corporations. He has worked as a Research Editor and Project Analyst at BCC Research since 1985, and has authored numerous BCC technology market research reports and periodicals.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and is of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal or accounting advice, nor should it be considered as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.