Forensic Technologies: New and Growing Markets
- The U.S. market for forensic products and services increased from $9.5 billion in 2007 to an estimated $10.3 billion by the end of 2008. It should reach $17.5 billion by 2013, a com¬pound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%.
- DNA testing has become the definitive forensic technology. Other technologies such as blood group identification have become obsolete.
- Fingerprinting continues to move rapidly away from ink-based methods to biometric tech¬nologies such as electronic fingerprinting and electronic scanners.
Technology advancements in forensics have been of considerable import in recent years. Recent examples include 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 victims of crime, and developments in scanning
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 has grown from 300 in 1999 to an estimated 475 in 2007. Looking at just the top 50 publicly funded forensic crime labs, such labs now have an aggregate annual budget of about $360 million.
These laboratories analyze hundreds of thousands of samples 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 and the forensics sector will expand significantly in the future.
SCOPE OF STUDY
This report contains:
- Descriptions of various forensic products and services including analytical instruments and supplies, drug identification kits, toxicology immunoassay testing products, forensic biology, fingerprinting/biometrics, DNA testing, computer forensics, forensic databases and forensic consulting.
- The current global market status for forensic products and services, with trends and forecasts for growth over the next 5 years
- Technological issues including the latest trends and a thorough patent analysis
- Discussion of the hundreds of crime laboratories in the U.S. performing forensic analyses
- Company profiles.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Data for this study were collected using both primary and secondary data research techniques. 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 (nominal) dollars, unadjusted for inflation.
Research analyst Kevin Gainer holds both B.A. and M.A. degrees in economic analysis and has over 20 years of economic and market research experience. He is the author of four published books and dozens of technical papers, analyses, and studies published in conference proceedings, including many unpublished within corporations. He has worked as a research editor at BCC Research, and has authored several BCC technology market research reports.
The overall U.S. value of forensic products reached nearly $1.48 billion in 2004 and is projected to rise at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 14.3% to more than $3.29 billion in 2010.
DNA testing is expected to grow at a 15.9% AAGR, rising from $745.2 million to more than $1.75 billion in the period.
Fingerprinting/biometrics are forecasted to grow at a 13.8% AAGR, rising to some $1.38 billion from $637.7 million in 2004.
The majority of forensic testing is done in publicly funded laboratories. Only a few private consultant laboratories offer services to analyze forensic evidence in the U.S.