Thursday, May 21 2015
By Amanda Shailendra, director, life sciences and corporate solutions, the Georgia Department of Economic Development
The life science industry is evolving at a rapid pace. From new technologies and health regulations to market opportunities in rural areas and emerging trends in urban locations, this industry requires a solid business climate that will support these dynamic changes and move life science companies forward.
Georgia is committed to growing the healthcare and life science industry and is continually investing in its people, resources and solutions to meet companies’ unique business needs. The life sciences community in Georgia is a rich mix of medical device, pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical supply companies, with more than 400 life sciences companies in the state, including 150 medical device companies, 225 health IT companies, more than 40 non-profit health organizations and eight research universities.
Georgia houses the second-largest blood processing facility in the world by volume, as well as the nation’s largest independent testing lab for blood and plasma products. A few years ago, Baxter International located its new bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Atlanta, as well as plasma centers throughout Georgia that will employ approximately 1,500 people across the state, investing $1 billion.
The Georgia BioScience Training Center, a first of its kind, is under construction near the Baxter plant. This training facility, operated by Georgia QuickStart, will not only provide customized training to meet Baxter’s needs, but will also support the growing workforce needs of the industry in Georgia, building capacity and curricula within the Technical College System of Georgia for maintaining a long-term pipeline of highly-skilled employees who are well trained in bio-manufacturing operations.
Georgia’s colleges and universities offer world-class, post-secondary programs - with more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate degrees earned in biotechnology and life science-related programs each year. The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University is ranked second in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report. The program graduated 213 students in 2013 and continues to grow rapidly with nearly 1,600 students enrolled in fall 2013.
It’s clear that Georgia is the ideal location for the life science industry. The state continues to attract jobs and investment, drawing the attention of global leaders such as American Red Cross Biomedical Services, Americold, Baxter, Dendreon, Immucor, GE Healthcare, Greenway Health, McKesson Technology Solutions and many more.
We know that corporate executives consider a number of factors when looking at new places to expand or relocate. A deeper understanding of talent, infrastructure and pro-business resources all help with location decisions. Georgia has a team of project managers dedicated to supporting companies’ unique needs in this industry.
Visit http://www.expansionsolutionsmagazine.com/georgia_ed for local economic development office directory listings.