Until The Scripps Research Institute announced plans to build a major research facility in the US state of Florida, many were unaware of Florida’s existing credentials in the life sciences.

Notably, Florida ranks second in the US for the number of FDA-registered medical device establishments, and it is the 11th largest biotechnology state in the country, according to Ernst & Young.


More than 34,000 Florida companies employ more than 600,000 workers in the four general areas: biotechnology, medical device manufacturing, pharmaceuticals/biopharmaceuticals, and healthcare.

The state’s strength in the life sciences can be attributed to its existing research and development (R&D) infrastructure and the support of an entrepreneurial environment with existing resources for venture capital. Additionally, the state offers a competitive business climate with strong workforce talent.

Why Florida?

The top five reasons for life sciences companies to locate or expand in Florida are:

  • R&D infrastructure. Florida has built a network of resources that serves discovery and commercialisation. The state is home to Scripps Florida, two centres of excellence in biotechnology, multiple medical research clinics, top-notch medical schools and research universities, and numerous technology transfer programmes – all creating a synergy and climate for innovation.


  • Entrepreneurial environment. Commercialisation of research discoveries and young companies are championed by Florida’s strong workforce talent, technology incubators, research parks and wet laboratories, as well as an upsurge of venture capital investment in the state.


  • Venture capital. Florida offers an excellent opportunity for experienced venture capitalists to take advantage of its deal flow. Venture capital spending totalled more than $555m for 114 deals in 2003 and 2004. There are also more than 20 venture capital companies headquartered in the state.


  • Business climate. With the biomedical technology industry designated as a “high impact” sector, Florida offers biotechnology companies special incentives and a highly competitive business climate. Its remarkable quality of life is also one of its major assets, with year-round sunshine, no state personal income tax, low cost of living and affordable housing.


  • Workforce talent. Florida’s universities and colleges rank among the best producers of the US’s top R&D performers. The state’s customised workforce training programmes help companies to recruit, train and maintain employees with cutting-edge skills to keep pace with new technologies.


Tools to succeed

The tools that life science companies need to succeed are found in Florida. With robust programmes in R&D and technology transfer, as well as an existing base of life science businesses, it is no wonder that companies are looking at Florida to bring their research discoveries from the laboratory to the market.



To learn more about Florida’s life sciences cluster, download the free life science market brief at www.eflorida.com/fdi


When it comes to international business, Florida is the place to be – no other site in the western hemisphere can match its unique combination of a strategic geographic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and multilingual workforce. Serving as a hemispheric hub for international banking and finance, education, transportation, telecommunications, and cross-border trade and investment, Florida is a world-class, pro-business environment in an attractive geographical setting.


Did you know?


  • Florida has the fourth largest number of high-tech jobs among US states.


  • Florida has the fourth largest labour force in the US.


  • Florida ranks third in US high-tech exports.


  • Florida’s total merchandise trade exceeds $81bn.


  • FDI in Florida exceeds $34.3bn, making it the ninth largest recipient of FDI in the US.


  • Florida ranks fifth nationally in terms of employment by foreign-affiliated firms.


  • Florida’s state tax system is ranked second in the US on how friendly it is to businesses.


  • Florida’s average cost of labour is 11% lower than the US average.