A group of fiscal watchdogs for the Florida Legislature has been doing the math on the Sunshine State's $759 million investment in eight biotech campuses over the last six years. The payback: 1,100 jobs, without any significant clustering of biotech startups.
"This investment has not yet resulted in the growth of technology clusters in the counties where program grantees have established facilities," says the Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability. Adding private and local contributions brings the total investment to $1.55 billion, or $1.4 million in taxpayer support for every new job, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. But biotech clusters don't just materialize overnight, the report adds.
"While many factors related to biotechnology cluster growth are present in the state, such as a collegial and cooperative environment among stakeholders, Florida has limited early stage capital for beginning companies." To get to the next level of economic development in biotech, OPPAGA recommends that the state change focus, dropping big investments in research centers in favor of providing money to startup companies.
- here's the story from the Orlando Sentinel