The 12th annual BioFlorida Celebration of Biotechnology recently took place on the grounds of RTI surgical at Progress Park and showed signs that the biotech industry could be on the rise in Gainesville. The Celebration added 14 more tables to this years show to help accommodate around 94 different companies.
Down the road on U.S. 441, construction on the first four buildings in Foundation Park was under way, providing lots of new space for growing biotech companies. There is also construction under way for a 165,000 square-foot Nanotherapeutics manufacturing facility west of Progress Park. CEO of BioFlorida believes total industry growth is statewide, providing a statistic stating the number of biotech companies researching in Florida rose 93% in six years. Just this past year, companies from California and India have expanded into the state of Florida. It’s believed that biotech businesses have finally figured out a good place to do business in Florida.
The director of UF’s office of technology licensing is confident that the new foundation park will provide more space for local companies, “holding them here instead of bleeding jobs out of the community”. Developers involved in Progress Park have accelerated the biotech industry after a lackluster start to the development. Having these companies in these parks is important because it promotes the whole economy, as companies need other people’s services to conduct business. Special adviser to the university president, Win Phillips credits Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce for its economical development and its cooperation with UF to help grow the community as a whole.