South Florida Welcomes Biotech Firms

Published March 1, 2009

South Florida communities are welcoming biotechnology companies with open arms.

Six years ago, Palm Beach County lured the Scripps Research Institute to establish its state-of-the-art biomedical research center in Jupiter, Florida. Lee County, due west of Palm Beach County on Florida’s Gulf Coast, has taken notice.

The Fort Myers News-Press has identified biotechnology as one of the top five potential solutions to Lee County’s struggling economy.

“Lee County has a 10 percent unemployment rate, a high tally because its economy hinges on tourism, real estate, and construction. Diversifying the job base with new types of careers is critical in the recovery process,” noted the January 28 News-Press.

Had Scripps located in Lee County, “It would have created a hub of biotechnology, infusing hundreds of scientists and millions in research grants into Southwest Florida’s economy,” observed the newspaper.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.