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Statewide association celebrates Florida's progress in biotech

Monday, May 14, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Statewide association celebrates Florida's progress in biotech


By  – Reporter, Jacksonville Business Journal

BioFlorida's 15th annual gathering of biotech professionals, held May 10 in Alachua, shows that biopharma, medical technology and health IT industries are growing in the Sunshine State, according to BioFlorida CEO Nancy Bryan.

"The whole idea of the event is to showcase the progress of biotech industry," said Bryan.

The event attracted just 40 biotech professionals 15 years ago, but this year's event was attended by hundreds with more than 90 sponsors and exhibitors, according to Bryan.

Florida's biotech industry – including science-focused fields from pharmaceuticals to advanced agriculture – boasts nearly 6,000 businesses, 83,000 jobs and $32 billion in economic output. Industry growth in Florida is also outpacing growth nationally, Bryan said.

"We're seeing double-digit gains in employment in biopharma and medical technology industries," said Bryan. "We're strong, and we're growing."

One boon for the state's industry has been universities fostering research and incubators. Bryan pointed to University of Florida's Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center and its Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research.

"It's all driven by the research," she said.

Collaborative relationships with research universities are critical in attracting and retaining businesses, Bryan said. BioFlorida also works with Enterprise Florida to help incentivize the biotech industry in the state.

Jacksonville's fastest-growing company in 2017, Espero BioPharma, recently announced it is keeping its headquarters on the First Coast after exploring the idea of moving to more traditional hubs like California and Boston where research, talent and capital are more abundant.

Bryan believes the biotech industry is building momentum in Florida, both for start-ups and established companies.

"Florida is blessed with lots of rising stars," she said.

About BioFlorida

BioFlorida represents 6,200 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, healthIT and bioagriculture sectors that collectively employ 87,000 Floridians.


Members of the BioFlorida network include emerging and established life science companies, universities, research institutions, hospitals, medical centers, incubators, economic development agencies, investors and service providers.


NEW regional sponsorship opportunities available.