Biotechnology Clusters Unattractive to Startup Capital (Project Peet) | James Pat Guerrero

The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) published a document, Report 10-05 of January 2010, on Biotechnology Clusters Developing Slowly; Startup Assistance May Encourage Growth. The Florida Legislature directs OPPAGA to oversee the performance of the Innovation Incentive Program and report on it every three years. The abstract of the report is as follows:

at a glance
Although the Innovation Incentive Program has invested over $449 million to bring seven major biotechnology research institutes to the state, this investment has not yet resulted in the growth of technology clusters in the counties where program grantees have established facilities. However, experts in the biotechnology industry agree that significant cluster growth often takes decades. 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.
The Legislature could consider options to strengthen the program, including shifting its focus from attracting research institutes to providing early stage money for startup biotechnology companies. The Legislature could do so by authorizing grants to startup companies or by providing matching funds to companies that also receive grants from the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs.

Although this writer wholly disagrees on the subsidizing by taxpayer funding for such biotechnology clusters, the important note taken from this abstract should be that emphasis for helping biotechnology clusters to start may focus on startup capital. Currently in Florida there is not an interest in providing startup capital. However, with Governor Scott’s new economic initiatives, private startup capital interest may emerge. If this occurs, then continued private operation and maintenance capital should emerge as well. This writer emphasizes private capital funding versus taxpayer-funded capital in relation to Project Peet (Jackson Laboratory project).

To read the report: {7e0c9a6c-8fa8-42cb-9f7c-8b3d9b7e8c5e}.PDF (application/pdf Object).


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