Biotechnology event to highlight sector growth
ALACHUA, Fla. — More than 500 biotechnology industry professionals, researchers and business leaders are expected to attend the 10th Annual Celebration of Biotechnology May 9 at RTI Biologics in Progress Corporate Park.
This free event from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. is hosted by the Northeast Chapter of BioFlorida and will feature more than 70 scientific and other vendors, an expanded bus tour of Progress Corporate Park and a brief program to celebrate the successes of the local biotechnology industry over the past year. The 204-acre park is home to 30 biotechnology companies.
Florida has seen a 60 percent growth of the biotechnology industry over the past five years. Furthermore, University of Florida’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator, located in the park, was recently awarded the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year for overall excellence, topping incubators more than twice its size, such as the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. These accomplishments and more will be highlighted during this year’s celebration.
“There is a lot to celebrate at this year’s event,” said Patti Breedlove, associate director of Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator and a member of BioFlorida’s board of directors. “We are excited to share the successes of our local biotechnology companies and research institutions with life sciences stakeholders and the general public.”
Since the release of the second edition of Florida’s BioPulse, the biotechnology industry in Florida has experienced additional growth with Nanotherapeutics — a privately held biopharmaceutical company located in Progress Corporate Park and graduate of the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator — being awarded a $135 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop manufacturing processes for drugs to treat bioterrorism and radiological threats. The company is expanding to land adjacent to Progress Corporate Park. Moreover, RTI Biologics is expanding its presence in Progress Corporate Park, by building a 41,165-square-foot Logistics and Technology Center that is expected to open in early 2014.
Jim Talton, CEO of Nanotherapeutics, will be at the celebration to discuss the Department of Defense contract that is expected to provide 150 new employees with an average salary of $90,000. Guests can take a narrated bus tour around Progress Corporate Park and surrounding areas, exploring the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator, RTI Biologics’ Logistics and Technology Center and Santa Fe College’s Charles R. and Nancy V. Perry Center for Emerging Technologies, and the site of Nanotherapeutic’s new manufacturing facility.
For those interested in continuing education and training programs, Santa Fe College will highlight the school’s biomedical and biotechnology programs that educate and train the talent needed for the growing life sciences industry in the Gainesville area, and Florida.
Lunch will be for sale and provided by Gator Dominos, KB Kakes and Govinda’s from the Hare Krishna Temple. Guests will also have the chance to win door prizes.
BioFlorida has more than 20 events planned for the remainder of 2013. The next big event following the Celebration of Biotechnology is the 16th Annual Conference in Tampa in September. To view a complete list of the 2013 events, click here, or visit bioflorida.com.