(NewsUSA) - If you're in the biotech industry and wondering what state is first in class for medical device and pharmaceuticals manufacturing, as well as research and development (R&D) in this industry, the answer doesn't lie in the west or the northeast. Florida is where you'll find that leadership and expertise.
In fact, the state retains more than 325 biotechnology companies and R&D institutes that are creating some of the most exciting advancements in innovation and discovery, particularly through patents and clinical trials. The high-tech center of Florida rivals some of the greatest in the country and the work of these researchers is turning heads.
Companies such as: BioFlorida, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, the University of South Florida Research & Innovation, NSU Cell Therapy Institute, High-Tech Corridor, The Max Planck Institute, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, and Scripps Florida are working in the industry across the state.
The state's biotechnology industry would not be the powerhouse that it is today without the help of Florida's universities. The three public universities of the High-Tech Corridor, the University of Florida, University of South Florida and University of Central Florida, attract more than $230 million a year combined in research funding from National Institutions of Health.
Mark S. Long, Director of the University of Florida's Sid Martin Biotech Institute -; which is a biotech business incubator that receives $750 million in research funding annually, and serves biotech start up companies by helping with legal issues, management, accounting and mentoring -; says there is a huge research enterprise in Florida, making the state appealing for biotech business.
"There are many factors that make Florida attractive," Long says. "The weather, no state income tax and the commitment to education."
He also says that the workforce is key for every company.
Nothing is more important to a company's success than its workforce. More than 27,000 Floridians work in Florida's biotechnology, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and medical device manufacturing industries, and the universities are among the nation's top producers of STEM graduates, according to Enterprise Florida.
"Can I get the people I need to do this?" Long asks. "The answer is yes. There is a commitment here to education."
The strength of Florida's research universities make up the scope of Florida's biotechnology industry. Between 2012 and 2015, nearly 5,000 bioscience-related patents were issued and more than $1 billion in R&D was conducted. As a result, solid job growth in this field has increased drastically as more biotech companies relocate to Florida to be closer to the advancements in medical innovation.
Florida's life sciences industry continues to have a positive impacts on human well-being worldwide. The state has recruited acclaimed scientists and established expertise in critical areas of immuno-oncology, ophthalmology, cell therapy and regenerative medicine, marine biotechnology and neurodegenerative diseases.
"Across Florida, we are seeing multiple drivers of growth," says Nancy Bryan, President & CEO of BioFlorida, the voice of Florida's life sciences industry.
"Companies are choosing Florida to relocate, existing companies are expanding, universities and institutes are laying the framework for spinouts, and new and established incubators and accelerators are creating the right climate for growth."
For more information on biotech opportunities in Florida, visit enterpriseflorida.com.