BioIndustrySouth Emerges

Can the South be the next great BioIndustry region?

Southern communities answer a resounding “Yes!”

Searching for the best location for biotech? If so, please allow us to “right a wrong” that's been done to you by the national media. You see; they've been busy telling you about Biotech Bay (northern California), Genetown (Boston), Pharm Country (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), and Biotech Beach (southern California). These traditional biotech hotbeds—all outside the South—rank among the highest-cost business locations in the country.

Meanwhile, the media has largely neglected to mention that BioSouth has quietly emerged.

That's right, the life sciences sector in the South is gaining momentum. Increasingly, companies are beginning to recognize the southern advantage-- low operating costs for business and a quality of life second to none.

With an eye on the future, cities, counties and states all across the South are making the needs of BioIndustry companies top priority. Southern markets are transforming themselves into the best possible locations for biotech to thrive. They're doing so with facilities, research partnerships, readily available lab and manufacturing space, aggressive financial incentives, and a wealth of funding sources.

If you're looking for the best Bio location, we encourage you to take a closer look at BioSouth. And to help you with your site search, we have profiled the region's life science clusters as well as those areas that are planning or are just beginning to launch bioscience initiatives.

Here's our state-by-state guide to the South's Hot Markets for Biotech.

ALABAMA

Auburn    

Alabama's budding biotech industry, with 90 biotech/biomed companies, is developing a strong position in cancer research, diagnostics and therapeutics. Auburn University (AU) sparks biotech research efforts in Auburn. In fact, Aetos Technologies, Inc. was formed in 2003 to help commercialize technologies being developed by AU inventors. AU inventors have raised more than $4 million to date. With a 150-acre research park scheduled to open in 2006, Auburn biotech is a rising star in Alabama.

Birmingham    

Birmingham, Alabama and biotech go hand in hand. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is responsible for more than $500 million in externally funded research – mostly in the biosciences. With a strong infrastructure and state support, Birmingham is setting the stage for a biotech boom in what promises to be the region's next industrial revolution.

Huntsville

Huntsville has a strong early stage financing network of angel investors responsible for starting or recruiting six new biotech companies in the last three years. The Cummings Research Park, the second largest research park in the nation, calls Huntsville home. And the Partnership for Biotechnology Research, a local organization to enhance and foster biotech, formed this year to spur additional research and economic development around biotechnology.

Mobile   

Mobile, Alabama is gaining biotech momentum with The University of South Alabama Technology and Research Park, a major economic development initiative launched in 2002. In conjunction with the university's Cancer Research Institute and Center for Lung Biology, there are countless biotechnology, biomedicine, and drug development partnerships with industry on the horizon. Mobile is making major headway in biotech today with great promise for tomorrow.  

Tuscaloosa    

Tuscaloosa looms large in the educational and institutional infrastructure of Alabama. Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama (UA), Stillman College, Shelton State Community College and several large hospitals. Two new bio related companies have emerged since April based on technologies being developed at UA. Tuscaloosa is taking biotech seriously and promises to leverage its strong research background to draw companies that will usher in bio breakthroughs.

ARKANSAS

Fayetteville

Biotechnology is fueling Fayetteville, Arkansas' future. The University of Arkansas, in partnership with the City of Fayetteville and the local region, is developing the Arkansas Research and Technology Park (ARTP) just south of the University's main campus in Fayetteville. The goal is to foster and attract clusters of industries whose commercial pursuits are strategically aligned with the research strengths of the university.

Several companies are currently commercializing technologies licensed from the university, including SFC Fluidics, BioDetection Instruments and Vegrandis. Recognized by the Milken Institute as the top-performing metropolitan area in 2003, Fayetteville and the Northwest Arkansas region are establishing a reputation as an emerging technology community, poised to meet the challenges of the innovation economy.

Little Rock

The University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) drives Little Rock's biotech boom. The university supports research with a plethora of biotech organizations, including the Bioscience Institute, the Cancer Research Center and the Ag-Medicine Initiative. The university's Biomedical Biotechnology Center acts as a hub connecting the intensive biotech research to industry.

UAMS holds 100 patents, with 114 additional patents pending, scores of which are currently licensed to commercial partners. UAMS Arkansas BioVentures is the region's biotech business accelerator facility complete with a lab and smart-classroom. Graduate companies include Safe Foods Corporation, CountourMed, Inc. and Anabonix, Inc.

Pine Bluff

Pine Bluff, Arkansas is the home of Bioplex, an industrial park destined to catch the next wave of economic opportunity: biotech. The park is under development, with the ultimate goal of attracting a vaccine production facility. Based on existing Food & Drug Administration resources, including the National Center of Toxicological Research, and the U.S. Army's Pine Bluff Arsenal, the future looks bright for biotechnology in Pine Bluff.

Stuttgart     

Recognized as the “Rice Capital of the World,” Stuttgart's agricultural economy has matured and the city has become a hotspot for biotech with several acclaimed research facilities including: Rice Germplast Evaluation and Enhancement Center, Rice Research and Extension Center, Hartz Cotton Research Center, Riceland Research and Technical Center, and the Stuttgart National Agricultural Center. In addition, the community is home to Dale Bumpers' National Rice Research Center, an $11.2 million state-of-the-art laboratory containing offices, research labs, seed storage and greenhouse space.

FLORIDA

Gainesville/Alachua

Gainesville's University of Florida (UF) makes it a contender in the biotech arena. UF is leveraging $12 million in government grants to construct the Center for Excellence in Regenerative Health Biotechnology that will be home to a state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility, in addition to research and education efforts.

UF also operates the Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Incubator and the Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center. The community boasts the Inflexion private equity fund and the Emergent Growth Fund helping to fund the biotech sector. And Sante Fe Community College is now offering a two-year program in biotechnology laboratory technology as well as biomedical engineering technology. Finally, a cluster of biotech companies is developing in the Progress Corporate Park in Alachua.

Orlando

Metro Orlando's life sciences sector springs from a prominent agricultural base and a renowned regional healthcare system that comprises some of the top hospitals in the country. Clinical trials of newly developed medications are now taking place in areas that were once acres of orange groves.

Several prestigious educational and research centers call Metro Orlando home, including Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, University of Central Florida's (UCF) Biomolecular Science Center and the Central Florida Research Park, one of the nation's top 10 research facilities. Metro Orlando also hosts 500+ life sciences companies. A state-of-the-art Biotech Research Greenhouse is also planned for this region.

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is home to a nationally ranked top 20 cluster for medical device manufacturing and pharmaceutical research. In addition, new drug development is underway at Tampa-based companies such as Somerset Pharmaceuticals, Romark Laboratories and AnazaoHealth. Leveraging affiliations with several major area hospitals, the University of South Florida is the center of the region's biotech and bioscience research.

In addition to the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, the Byrd Alzheimer's Center & Research Institute is now under construction in Tampa. When completed, it will be the largest freestanding institute in the world devoted exclusively to finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease. Stem cell research, nanobacteria research and novel drug delivery platforms are also key areas of focus in this entrepreneur-friendly business environment.

South Florida (Broward County)

Broward County, Florida is home to thousands of technology and bioscience companies that are developing ways to regenerate damaged heart tissue, researching cures for cancer, and striving for hundreds of other biotechnology breakthroughs. World-class medical centers such as the Cleveland Clinic of Florida combine with leading companies to provide a fertile environment for bioscience discovery and product commercialization.

South Florida offers biotech companies a pro-business, pro-technology climate and easy trade access to key growth areas of the Americas. That's one reason why the Scripps Research Institute will locate in Palm Beach County. Andrx Corporation, Bioheart and Viragen are also pushing the limits of biotech there.

GEORGIA

Atlanta

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based in Atlanta, the city is a natural for biotech. Add to that the American Cancer Society, The Arthritis Foundation, The Emory Vaccine Center, The Research Center at Clark Atlantic University, The Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues, and Georgia State University's Center for Biotechnology and Drug Design and it becomes clear that Atlanta is a biotech research powerhouse.

More than 200 bioscience companies call metro Atlanta home, including headquarters for major pharmaceutical companies such as Sovay, UCB Pharma and Serilogicals. The Bioscience Council is vying to double the number of bioscience companies in Atlanta over the next 10 years. Georgia is positioned eighth on the Ernst & Young Global Biotechnology Report rankings, making Atlanta a vibrant part of the state's growing biotech economy.

Athens

Athens, Georgia is revving up for biotech with The Center for Applied Genetic Technologies (CAGT) at the University of Georgia. The CAGT brings together diverse expertise in plant and animal genomics, DNA markers and transformation, and provides state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation to nurture and stimulate the development and application of these technologies. Within CAGT are research labs and the Georgia BioBusiness Center, an incubator that enables biosciences startup companies to accelerate their early growth through access to management expertise and sophisticated instrumentation.

Augusta

Augusta, Georgia has what it takes for life sciences. The Medical College of Georgia (MCG) has the most rapidly growing research program among all universities in the state, with extramural research awards totaling more than $76 million annually.

MCG created the Office of Technology Transfer & Economic Development, which then established the Life Sciences Business Development Center (LSBD). LSBD is an incubator that houses five life sciences entrepreneurial businesses, ranging from bioinformatics and genomics to medical devices and diagnostics. MCG also developed The Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine to promote interdisciplinary research in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. The Center provides sophisticated facilities for microarray analysis, proteomics and computational technologies and is focusing its current research on autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes.

The Augusta BioBusiness Center (ABC) is located about one mile from MCG and also provides office/lab facilities to bio-related and medical software companies. ABC facilitates access to the Augusta Clinical Trials Network and the Augusta Angel Fund and Venture Fund. Meanwhile, the Augusta Economic Develop Authority and The Development Authority of Columbia County work closely with MCG, Augusta State University, Augusta Technical College and Paine College to facilitate commercialization of life sciences research.

Augusta is also home to Fort Gordon, a military installation that teaches computers, telecommunications and logistics. About 100 trained exiting military personnel enter the Augusta workforce each month and are available for area life sciences companies like Monsanto, Pfizer and NutraSweet. These skills translate to life sciences to position Augusta as the next southern biotech hotbed.

For more information, contact Walter Sprouse at the Augusta Economic Development Authority at 706-821-1321 or wsprouse@augustagausa.com . Or visit www.georgiamedicalcenterauthority.org

KANSAS

Kansas City

Kansas City, Kansas is betting that being home to the number two public pharmacy school in the nation will translate to biotech opportunities – and it has. The University of Kansas (KU) is making significant gains in life sciences and has earned yet another ranking: fastest growing university for life sciences research as reported by the National Institute of Health. The University of Kansas Higuchi Biosciences Center has led to the creation of several new bioscience companies in the Kansas City area. And the KU Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property is bridging the gap between development and commercialization.

Lawrence

Lawrence is feeding off its biotech promise with 2,200 jobs in bioscience research and manufacturing in the region. And that's just the beginning. KU is adding about 60 new bioscience faculty positions in the next five years, in part to pursue its multi-million-dollar bioscience research. Biotech firms are beginning to take notice. Bioscience players Deciphera Pharmaceuticals (which raised $15 million in venture capital for its operations) and Serologicals have both located in Lawrence over the past two years. The Lawrence Biosciences Task Force, the Lawrence Technology Association and the Regional Technology Center are helping drive further economic development in this growing biotech region.

Manhattan

Biotech in Manhattan, Kansas just keeps getting hotter. KU's competitive research funding totals more than $185 million with over 1,000 research proposals funded by U.S. government agencies. The Kansas Economic Growth Act funds bioscience research and the City of Manhattan and KU are committed to keeping Manhattan in the fore of biotech R&D.

The new $7 million Bioprocessing and Industrial Added Value Center is already fostering biotech research related to Kansas crops. And Manhattan will soon be home to the $50 million Food Safety and Security Research Facility. Finally, the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization will soon break ground on a 30,000 square foot facility, making Manhattan a must for biotech.

Pittsburg

Pittsburg State University (PSU) is the driving force behind Pittsburg, Kansas' emerging biotechnology industry. One of the most prestigious technology colleges in the nation, the College of Technology at PSU has attracted national attention with the construction of the Kansas Technology Center. With the recent formation of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, Pittsburg is well positioned for biotech growth.

KENTUCKY

Bowling Green

Bowling Green is home to Western Kentucky University Center for Research and Development as well as the Central Region Innovation & Commercialization Center, which identifies emerging growth companies and promotes their success in the areas of science and information technology.  Specifically, Western Kentucky University boasts a Biotechnology Center providing technical and educational services, along with a Research Foundation that connects faculty members and industry to pursue funding for development of intellectual properties, patents and other commercialization opportunities.

Lexington

The University of Kentucky (UK) is driving the developing biotech cluster in Lexington. UK has received millions of extramural funding for life sciences-related research that produces scores of intellectual property disclosures each year. The UK's 735-acre Coldstream Research Campus provides an environment for the entire lifecycle of technology-based companies and a new 20,000-square foot Center for Pharmaceutical Science and Technology will serve as a catalyst for interaction with biotech partners. Meanwhile, two university incubator facilities offer business support services for tech start-ups.

Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky is making major contributions to the state's focus on natural products, medical devices, health technology services and niche pharma and biotech. Home to the University of Louisville (UL), the city boasts MetaCyte Business Labs, a business accelerator that focuses on early stage life science companies. The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is also on the UL campus. The Brown Center is on the cutting edge of new drug development for cancer treatment. The Brown Center collaborates with industry and has already developed a drug that is in phase 1 clinical trials. Louisville is home to the Commonwealth Health Corporation, with many other new biotech startups on the horizon.

LOUISIANA

Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is making its way into the burgeoning biotech sector via Louisiana State University (LSU). The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine recently received a $9.9 million grant to establish a Center for Biomedical Research Excellence. This will spawn a Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research. Baton Rouge is also home to the Pennington Biomedical Research Center that houses 14 research labs.

New Orleans

A collaborative spirit among major health institutions has created a premier research center for biomedical and biotechnology research in New Orleans. Working together, the LSU Medical Center and Tulane University Health Sciences Center — with the support of downtown developers — have created a hub for medical research and a thriving corridor of medical service companies. Companies in the area now have access to resources to bring pharmaceuticals and biotech products to market quickly and efficiently.

Shreveport

Shreveport, Louisiana boasts the Biomedical Research Foundation (BRN) of Northwest Louisiana, which leads the region in the creation, expansion and support of enterprises that advance healthcare delivery, medical research, and medical technology.

BRN supports LSU Medical Center's biotech research and state-of-the-art technologies and the BRN InterTech Science Park is one of the region's forward-thinking strategies for knowledge-based economic development. It is anchored by three major medical centers in order to access Northwest Louisiana's biomedical brainpower. The Virginia K. Shehee Biomedical Research Institute is also on the site. Finally, the Consortium for Education Research & Technology serves to help promote tech-related economic development in the region. Shreveport is setting its sights on biotech success.

MARYLAND

Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County is at the heart of Maryland's high-technology corridor. The region boasts The Chesapeake Innovation Center, the first U.S. incubator focused on Homeland Security technologies. PharmAthene, a biotechnology startup developing a potential Anthrax vaccine, is one of six new companies taking up residence in the incubator. Several major research universities, including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, round out the region's billing as a future biotech magnet.

Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland is crossing the biotech chasm. The Maryland Bioscience Alliance is there to serve the needs of the state's growing biotechnology community. In fact, Maryland is now home to the third largest concentration of life sciences companies in the U.S. The Medical Biotechnology Center and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute are pushing research toward commercialization while the East Baltimore Biotechnology Park will soon provide a place for companies to set up shop. The $200 million park will be located adjacent to Johns Hopkins Hospital with 2 million square feet of biotech space designed to house up to 50 companies in the next decade.

Frederick County

Biotechnology leaders are discovering Frederick County, Maryland due to its business friendly climate, highly educated workforce and transportation system. Frederick County is part of a region that includes the nation's highest concentration of federal research facilities and is home to Fort Detrick/USAMRIID, NCI, MedImmune, SAIC and Cambrex Walkersville. Frederick County also hosts the lead medical research laboratory for the U.S. Biological Defense Research Program. Hood College has introduced a new state-of-the-art Hodson Science and Technology Center and various private-public partnerships are spurring the biotech revolution forward in Frederick County.

Howard County

Howard County, Maryland is centrally located in the third highest-ranking state in number of biotech companies and calls the Biotechnology Industrial Organization a neighbor. The National Institutes of Health, which contributes $1 billion in funding to businesses in the Washington/Baltimore corridor, is less than 30 miles away, and the capital region location offers quick access to federal regulators.

Howard County also offers biotech firms proximity to prestigious medical schools like Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland (UM), Georgetown University, Howard University and George Washington University. UM's Biotech Institute is another attraction with five specialized bioscience centers. And the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has seen scientists and engineers create more than 100 specialized medication devices and computer designs.

Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Maryland bills itself as the biotechnology center of Maryland. More than half of Maryland's bioscience firms are located in Montgomery County. In fact, Rockville and Gaithersburg, the County's largest municipalities, together boast nearly 100 bioscience firms and rank among Tech Transfer Business Magazine's top 20 cities nationwide for biotech growth.

Eleven major universities offering advanced degree programs in bioscience, engineering, medicine, business, and computer sciences are located within a 50-mile radius. Meanwhile, the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, the R&D Village, the Maryland Technology Development Center and partnerships with government agencies enhance Montgomery County's appeal.

MISSISSIPPI

Oxford

Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi and the Oxford Enterprise Center, a technology incubator sponsored by the North Mississippi Enterprise Initiative. This one-two punch has attracted biotech companies like Bio Derm Sciences to the South and marks the beginning of a biosciences cluster. Ole Miss also boasts the Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, the National Center for Natural Products Research, The Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Laboratory for Applied Drug Design and Synthesis.

Starkville

Nestled in the rolling hills of the state's northeast quadrant, Starkville is home to Mississippi State University (MSU), a top-ranked research institution (often counted in the top 10 in agricultural research). The Life Sciences & Biotechnology Institute there is fostering MSU's leadership roles in education and state-of-the-art research in life science and biotechnology.

MISSOURI

Fulton

In addition to Fulton's close proximity to the University of Missouri, the community is home to two outstanding private colleges – Westminster College and William Woods University. Westminster recently opened a $19 million state-of-the-art addition to its science center to further enhance the school's programs in biology, chemistry and physics. Alumni from these programs include the world's liver transplant pioneer (Dr. Thomas Starzl), a former AMA president (Dr. Hoyt Gardner), and the inventor of the Coulter Counter (Dr. Walter Coulter).

Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri took a mighty leap in the life sciences when the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI) was formed in 2000. KCALSI has created a collaborative environment for research initiatives, by sharing laboratories, information, and technology.

In 2001, the Stowers Institute was created through the second largest endowment in the United States ($1.2 billion). The Institute has recruited talented scientists from around the world to its 600,000 square-foot, $250 million basic life sciences facility. The Institute recently announced plans to develop a second campus.

St. Louis

The St. Louis County Economic Council and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center recently received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. With the grant, construction will begin on the region's first post-incubation, multi-tenant lab and office facility for plant and life sciences businesses. The grant will be combined with $13 million in existing investments. Located near Monsanto Company, Nidus Center for Scientific Enterprise and the Danforth Plant Science Center, the new facility will play a key role in continuing to grow an already thriving industry in the area.

Columbia

The Research Reactor at the University of Missouri (located in Columbia) is the nation's highest-powered university reactor and a world leader in radiopharmaceutical development for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The university is, in fact, one of the fastest-growing research universities in the U.S., with a growth in federal research dollars of 117 percent from 1994 to 2001.

The university recently opened a new life sciences research facility, which has 134,000 assignable square feet for faculty to conduct research in interdisciplinary clusters. In addition, the university's combination of agriculture, engineering, medicine, and veterinary medicine makes groundbreaking life sciences research and applications possible.

Springfield

The healthcare sector employs more than 20,000 people in Springfield, Missouri, providing an economic impact of well over $3 billion annually. Springfield is also home to 34,000 college students and the largest university in the state.

That's why the local chamber of commerce embarked on an aggressive campaign to create an environment for interaction between these sectors in order to encourage quality development opportunities. Healthcare is one of the centrally targeted industries for this effort.

NORTH CAROLINA

Research Triangle

Last year $64.6 million was committed to developing North Carolina's biomanufacturing industry—much of it focused on the Research Triangle. North Carolina State University (Raleigh) will receive $36 million to build and equip a Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center. The BTEC will measure 55,000 square feet, with 35,000 square feet in lab teaching and education space. North Carolina Central University (Durham) will receive $19.1 million to build the Bioprocessing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise and to develop graduate and undergraduate degree programs in applied process research.

Meanwhile, $9.4 million of the funding will go to the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) to recruit and train workers. The funding will support the first two years of the implementation of a strategic plan, which calls for organizing the NCCCS into a statewide BioNetwork. This statewide network will develop and enhance curricula and laboratories, and will dramatically increase the capacity of community colleges to educate, train and re-train North Carolinians for biomanufacturing and related jobs.

Winston Salem

North Carolina has the fourth largest concentration of biotechnology companies in the US (currently 146 and growing). Winston-Salem is at the forefront of that growing business. Wake Forest University (one of seven colleges and universities in the city), received more than $170 million in research grants and awards last year for its medical center. The university also recently installed a wireless network throughout the main campus.

In June 2003, Idealliance announced plans to expand the Piedmont Triad Research Park. This expansion is expected to add 10,000 new jobs and billions of dollars to the local economy. The park will consist of 5.7 million square feet of developed space for life science and IT research and development facilities.

Western N.C./Asheville

Western N.C. is poised to find its niche in biotech. To attract companies, it is drawing on the area's inherent strengths including plant diversity, forestry, horticulture, natural medicine, clinical trials, and biomanufacturing. The area recently became home to a satellite office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, which will work with regional partners to develop biotech research, business, and education.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College has created the Biotechnology Company Incubation and Training Center on its new Enka campus. The Center provides a place where biotech companies can mature and grow and is already home to six fledgling companies.

N.C.'s Eastern Region

North Carolina's Eastern Region is strategically located and well equipped for biotech business. Only a 90-minute drive from the Research Triangle, the Region also boasts the third-largest university in the state (East Carolina University). ECU is home to the Brody School of Medicine, a world leader in the development of robotic heart surgery that has a new $60 million science and technology building with specialized labs.

There are four agricultural research farms in the region, an outstanding marine sciences cluster, and several large biopharm production facilities (including Hospira, Health Corporation, Merck, EON Pharma, Purdue Pharmaceuticals and DSM Pharmaceuticals).

Greater Charlotte Region

Charlotte boasts an amazing diversity of industry, which has helped to position the city as a leader in the growth of new applied industries, including biotech. Currently, 48 biotech firms are located in Charlotte and 18 optoelectronic facilities can be found within the region.

The 58,000-square-foot Cannon Research Center, on the campus of Carolinas Medical Center, provides doctors and scientists an outstanding facility for conducting clinical and biomedical research and development. The Center receives about $10 million in federal, state, and industry funding for research.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City has embarked on an aggressive $12 million, five-year economic development campaign funded by more than 200 companies. The goal is to develop national recognition for the Oklahoma Bioscience Industry Cluster and to attract businesses to this growing region. The Oklahoma Bioscience Industry Cluster represents more than 100 companies and institutions in the life sciences.

The heart of Oklahoma's bioscience industry is the Oklahoma Health Center, a 300-acre center of teaching and research located less than five minutes from downtown Oklahoma City. The complex includes a 23.5-acre development that will grow to include one million square feet of space.

Ardmore

Ardmore is home to the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, which seeks to improve understanding and practices in the world of agriculture. The Foundation, founded in 1945, operates primarily from earnings on its investment portfolio and ranks among the 60 largest private charitable foundations in the country. It currently employs 250 people and operates an endowment of nearly $1 billion.

Stillwater

Stillwater's Oklahoma Technology and Research Park is designed to provide customized facilities for technology-based or knowledge-driven firms. The Park can provide facilities for businesses at all stages of development from single offices to laboratories or larger production areas.

Stillwater also provides a business-friendly atmosphere, available sites and a comprehensive research university.

McAlester

If you're looking for a rural community with a “can do” attitude concerning knowledge-based industries, check out McAlester, Oklahoma. From the mayor to the city council, leaders in this locale recognize that change is necessary and they readily embrace it.

McAlester's willingness to embrace biotech recently attracted the attention of biotech startup Tandem Technologies, LLC. Companies like Tandem Technologies that locate in McAlester can take advantage of Oklahoma's New Markets tax credits, which reward rural growth, along a variety of other incentives. On the local level, McAlester passed a sales tax referendum to promote economic growth. Existing buildings and industrial sites are available now in this community, which also has a new industrial park underway.

McAlester has become the regional center for commerce, retail, culture and recreation in Southeast Oklahoma. The community has a diversified economy, with excellent access to educational and health care facilities. This location also provides same-day service to Dallas, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Little Rock, Houston, Chicago, Denver, and New Orleans.

In 1998, Eastern Oklahoma State College opened a branch campus in McAlester offering computer and science laboratories equipped with advanced technologies. Plans are underway for a second building, which would be dedicated to allied health programs.

Add to the “can do” attitude the fact that Southeast Oklahoma is an Outdoorsman's paradise including hunting, fishing and lakes for recreation. This quality of life, leaders believe, will be especially attractive to scientists looking for a slower pace of life.

For more information, contact Jim Mills, executive director of McAlester Economic Development Services (MEDS) at 1-888-828-9901 or jmills@onenet.net.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Charleston

Charleston is a confluence of medical, marine, agricultural and atmospheric sciences. Nearly 65 companies are involved in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, therapeutics, medical devices and equipment, agricultural research and other related enterprises. The research-driven Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) attracted $175 million in research funding and grants in FY 2004, and more than 2,000 science and technical degrees are conferred locally each year, including degrees in biochemistry, biology, physics, chemistry and environmental sciences. Between 1998 and 2002, the number of employees occupying life, physical or social sciences occupations grew nearly 300 percent. MUSC is a part of the state's comprehensive research university network, which includes Clemson University and the University of South Carolina. Major collaborations include the S.C. Center for Regenerative Medicine, a $6 million project; the Biomedical Engineering Partnership, an interdisciplinary collaboration forging direct links between scientific research, engineering and clinical applications; and the S.C. Health Sciences Collaborative, in which MUSC and USC have partners with two of the state's largest hospitals, Greenville Hospital System and Palmetto Health, to create a statewide health sciences research foundation. Other research groups and industry resources include AAI Development Services, a contract manufacturing of sterile drug products for clinical trials; MUSC Foundation for Research Development; South Carolina BIO, a statewide networking and advocacy group for companies in the life sciences; and Hollings Marine Laboratory, which houses more than 100 researchers, fellows, students and staff focused on marine and human health.

Columbia

Columbia has access to a number of research groups and industry resources, including the University of South Carolina (which has its main campus in Columbia). USC's Biomedical Research Program encompasses cancer, bioengineering, regenerative medicine, cardiovascular research, neuroscience, diabetes prevention, nutrition, physical activity, obesity, geosocio-economic health disparity issues, geriatrics, HIV, biohealth preparedness and bioterrorism issues.

Greenville

Greenville has access to a variety of intellectual resources through Clemson University, with its biosystems research complex and programs in bioengineering and genetics; Furman University, with programs in bioinformatics and chemistry; and the University of South Carolina, with its Biomedical Research Program. The city is home to the Greenville Hospital System (GHS), the fourth-largest multi-system hospital in the country, with 1,100 beds available for clinical trials as well as access to other state resources through GHS's new Health Science Collaborative with Palmetto Health, the University of South Carolina, and the Medical University of South Carolina. GHS also is part of a $160 million initiative designed to foster life science research and provide cutting-edge technologies for patient treatment. Greenville Technical College offers a two-year associates degree in biotechnology that integrates into a uniquely designed state workforce-training program. Meanwhile, Clemson's South Carolina DNA Learning Center provides outreach education in modern genetics and biotechnology to K-12 teachers, non-formal educators and students. Clemson also is one of only 10 universities nationwide to offer bachelors, masters and Ph.D. programs in genetics.

Greenville's existing cluster of engineering firms includes the Life Sciences Division of Fluor Corp. The area has a business park with “super-sized” utilities unique to meet the needs of the life science industry, and has an aggressive package of local incentives to complement the recently passed South Carolina Life Sciences Incentive Act. The list of biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the Greenville area include BASF, Bayer, Bausch & Lomb, Capsugel, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.

Greenwood

The South Carolina Biotechnology Incubation Program is part of the state's efforts to build the infrastructure to increase the state's knowledge-based economy and to participate in the life science industry. The J.C. Self Research Institute of Human Genetics, a division of the Greenwood Genetic Center, serves as the academic anchor for the Incubation Program with the collaboration of the state's three research universities – Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina. The program houses six laboratories modules, library, conference center, offices and support space. The lab modules and related office spaces are available immediately for start-up businesses with commercial applications for life sciences products and processes.

The Self Research Institute's research is divided into two major centers: the Center for Molecular Studies and the Center for Anatomic Studies. Through the GGC, it is one of 50 institutions in the country that offers post-doctoral training in medical genetics, and the facility houses most of the GGC's 20 MD/PhD geneticists. The institute also an anchor in the developing Greenwood Biotechnology Park. The Greenwood Biotechnology Park, a developing class-A business and research park, will offer a campus-style environment for future life-science companies. The park targets biotechnical, biomedical, and bio-pharmaceutical firms and related operations.

TENNESSEE

Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge is home to a multitude of facilities that bring together national and international experts in science and biology. Its signature facility, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has received 107 R&D 100 Awards, ranking it first among all energy department laboratories and second among all winners of the technology award. ORNL's Complex Biological Systems Initiative engages organizations and disciplines across the laboratory, focusing on ORNL's distinctive expertise and facilities in mammalian genetics, biochemistry, environmental microbiology, plant genetics, analytical technologies, computational science and applied mathematics, physical sciences and engineering.

The Department of Energy invests nearly $2 billion annually in the Oak Ridge area. The University of Tennessee-Battelle has announced a $30 million investment in new lab facilities and a Y-12 National Security Complex is targeted for modernization. In addition, $290 million has been designated for the new Spallation Neutron Source project. From a colony of 70,000 live mice to 18 different user facilities open to private industry at one of the country's most acclaimed national labs, Oak Ridge offers resources needed for biotech research and development, including the Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium, ORNL, UT-Battelle, Spallation Neutron Source, the Joint Institute for Biological Sciences and the UT Center for Environmental Biotechnology.

Williamson County

The Cool Springs Life Sciences Center in Franklin in Williamson County is a 10-acre, 140,000-square-foot sciences-focused research and development campus that will provide dedicated space for well-equipped laboratory research, product development and manufacturing facilities for medical devices, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and other life science-oriented companies and their support systems. Prospective tenants include all stages of business, from small start-ups in Vanderbilt University's incubator unit to emerging venture capital-funded companies in late-stage product development, to fully integrated life science companies.

Chattanooga

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce assists in incubating emerging businesses, such as eSpin Technologies, which received a $2 million Advanced Technology Program award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for its groundbreaking work in developing a way to mass-produce nanofibers. Nanofibers have applications in industries such as aerospace, filtration and biotechnology.

Midway between the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), NASA's Marshall Flight Center and the U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center, Chattanooga is positioned to capitalize on the cutting-edge development that's taking place at these major research facilities, allowing it to become a hub where technology meets the marketplace. Chattanooga is linked to the world's most powerful computers at ORNL, and its Enterprise Center works to strengthen connections with the corridor's research centers. The SimCenter launched the first research doctoral program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, while the New Economy Institute recruits new and talented engineers and scientists for posts in federal laboratories.

Knoxville

The Center for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB) at the University of Tennessee Knoxville fosters a multidisciplinary approach for training the next generation of environmental scientists and solving environmental problems through biotechnology. It attained Research-Center-of-Excellence status through the University of Tennessee to catalyze and advance a new research agenda. Specific research areas include biomicroelectronics, bioenvironmental systems, biotechnical systems, and bioanalytical.

Memphis

Memphis is recognized internationally for clinical excellence in the areas of orthopedics, ophthalmology, cancer, and infectious diseases. It is home to the world's second-largest neurological institute, the Semmes Murphey Neurological and Spine Institute. Employment in the biotechnology sector is 32 percent higher than the concentration found nationally, and most of the country's major pharmaceutical companies have distribution centers in Memphis.

Home of the world's largest cargo airport as well as FedEx's World Headquarters, Memphis has refined processes to assure the safe and timely transfer of biological materials and devices. Led by the locally formed venture capital firm MB Venture Partners, new bioscience companies have been formed. The Memphis Biotech Foundation, a public-private-academic partnership created to promote workforce development, entrepreneurship and research, is building a new research park at the Memphis Central Biomedical District.

Nashville

Nashville is home to the biotechnology incubator developments of Cumberland Emerging Technologies' life sciences facility and the planned Cool Springs Life Sciences Center. The city has nurtured nearly 300 healthcare companies that operate nationally and internationally. Specialty pharmaceutical companies in the Nashville area have received recent FDA approval to market major products in the medical and dental fields, and one company has secured $25.7 million in venture funding for pre-clinical and clinical development of orthopedic treatments. Over the past year, Nashville has seen more than $265 million in private equity and venture capital invested in growing and start-up medical and pharmaceutical companies.

Vanderbilt University and Medical Center fuels life sciences research and development and the Vanderbilt Office of Technology Transfer aggressively works to move new life science technologies from the bench to the marketplace.

Northeast Tennessee Valley

The Northeast Tennessee Valley region's economy is diversified and includes medical technologies, a broad range of manufacturers, corporate headquarters and distribution centers. Companies in the area include GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical, which develops and manufacturers medicines for animals; King Pharmaceutical, which develops and manufacturers medicines for humans; Eastman Chemical Company, which conducts research on microbiological environmental solutions; and Argobast Pharmaceutical, which develops blood tests.

Located in the Tennessee Technology Corridor, the Tri-Cities can take advantage of the region's numerous technology associations and universities, such as Quillen College of Medicine and East Tennessee State University.

TEXAS

San Antonio

San Antonio's largest industry, biosciences and healthcare, has more than doubled in 10 years, with an annual local economic impact of $13 billion. Employing more than 100,000 people, this vibrant economic sector is comprised of world-renowned educational institutions and leading biotech companies.

Last year, more than a dozen bioscience research entities received approximately $164 million in annual National Institutes of Health funding. The largest areas of research are conducted by the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

San Antonio's bioscience sector includes the oncology division of one of the world's top five biotechnology firms, the world's largest Phase I clinical trials program for new anti-cancer drugs, and a new $200 million Children's Cancer Research Institute. San Antonio also houses the world's largest genomics computing cluster and the state's public bank for stem cell-rich umbilical cord blood.

A strong medical community and status as a desirable travel destination make San Antonio a favorite site for medical meetings, including the largest international breast cancer symposium, held annually.

With a business climate that thrives on innovation, a strong workforce and continuing educational opportunities, San Antonio is a prime location for healthcare and bioscience companies.

For more information, contact President of San Antonio Economic Development Foundation Mario Hernandez at 800-552-3333, or marioh@sanantonioedf.com . Or visit the organization's Web site at www.sanantonioedf.com .

Coastal Bend/Corpus Christi

The Coastal Bend/Corpus Christi area is one of the country's premiere locations for marine science and marine research and development, with centers such as the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, the second largest endowed marine science center in the United States. It is a community that boasts nationally recognized education facilities, such as Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, whose programs draw students, professors and researchers interested in marine science, environmental science and other specialized studies.

The Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Corpus Christi has collaborative partnerships within the state, the nation and worldwide, including the Texas Department of Agriculture, Coastal Bend Agribusiness Council, Behmann Brothers Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey and a number of private industrial firms producing farm chemicals and biological inputs. Aquaculture and marine resources programs collaborate with the USMSFP.

Galveston

Galveston is home to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), recent recipient of an NIAID/NIH grant to build a $150 million National Laboratory for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases. UTMB is home to the five-state Regional Center of Excellence as awarded by the NIAID/NIH. Galveston College offers an associate degree program in biotechnology. UTMB's Center for Technology Development supports a biomedical startup incubator and an office of research translation that collaborates with industry. One aspect of the center is a “business incubator,” being established adjacent to the Center for Technology Development office. The center's Office of Research Translation is working with UTMB researchers in the NIH-funded Western Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (WRCE), a coalition of academic and business entities expected to receive $48 million in federal support over the next five years for research into new diagnostic techniques, vaccines and therapies. In addition, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has designated UTMB as the site of the Galveston National Laboratory, a $167 million infectious disease research facility that could general as much as $1.1 billion in new economic activity over 20 years.

In addition to the resources for research, companies in Galveston have access to $1 billion in venture capital available in the Houston region. Galveston Island is currently home to more than 15 biotechnology companies.

Austin

Within a 100-mile radius of Austin are 25 colleges and universities, including a world-class research institution and the nation's largest public university, the University of Texas at Austin. UT Austin ranks in the top 10 for number of science and engineering doctoral degrees, and its first-rate programs include bioengineering, nanotechnology, bioinformatics, and pharmaceutical research; its associated programs include the Austin Technology Incubator, the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and IC 2 . UT Austin is the third-most patent-earning university in the country. Annual research expenditures at UT Austin exceed $300 million, and it has become a leader in the commercialization arena, aggressively seeking to get UT innovations to the marketplace.

The Milken Institute included Austin in its 2004 ranking of the top 12 biotechnology and life science centers. The city is home to some 85 companies in the medical product, pharmaceutical and bioscience areas. It features numerous organizations and training providers, including a Biotechnology Program at Austin Community College as well as the Capital Area Training Foundation and the Texas Workforce Commission, which developed customized programs for the biotechnology industry.

Bay Area Houston

The strategic location of Bay Area Houston, between the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Texas Medical Center, spurs growth in the biotechnology and bioscience sectors. Bioscience and biotechnology represents a strong technology cluster for Bay Area Houston with more than twice the national average activity. Approximately 2,900 people are employed in Bay Area Houston's bio-sector, with a concentrated representation of medical device, biometrics and basic bioresearch operations. The region offers a high-tech workforce of about 22,000 employees in aerospace, software and computer service, and biotechnology.

NASA's Johnson Space Center bioastronautics program is a key to the region's strength in bioscience. The program will provide astronaut-related medical support and operations, flight hardware development and research services for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs; potential value of the contract is $1 billion over 10 years.

Bryan-College Station

Research Valley, a seven-county area surrounding the cities of Bryan and College Station in the metropolitan center of Texas, is energized by Texas A&M University, one of the nation's top research universities and a constant source of major intellectual capital. Texas A&M has research expenditures exceeding $400 million and has been consistently ranked in the top tier of research institutions by the National Science Foundation. It is the first institution in the world to have cloned five different species and was the site of the birth of the first cloned cat in 2001. The College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's largest veterinary colleges and is an international leader in animal healthcare and research. The Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology is a multi-unit, multi-disciplinary organization with participating faculty, students and scientists from 14 unites affiliated with Texas A&M, the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, and the USDA-ARS. The Borlaug Center for Southern Crop Improvement provides the institute with a base that includes specialized teaching and research laboratories, infrastructure and equipment for the plant science community at Texas A&M. The Department of Homeland Security recently awarded an $18 million grant to a Texas A&M faculty-led consortium for the study of foreign animal diseases and zoonotic diseases.

A growing number of animal and plant biotech companies in the Research Valley have created a biotech cluster. The Research Valley Partnership, an economic development organization, is supporting Texas A&M's aggressive new Technology Transfer and Commercialization Center, a vehicle to enhance the cooperation between researchers and the commercial sector. The center provides researchers with avenues of increased funding and outsourcing functions.

Dallas

Dallas is a center for nanotechnology and medical research. The University of Texas at Dallas is one of two state universities supporting nanotechnology research centers. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, also located in Dallas, is among the top 20 internationally acclaimed medical schools, 16 th among the country's best medical programs and 30 th among primary care medical schools; it boasts a dozen members of the National Academy of Sciences and four active Nobel Laureates on its faculty.

Dallas-Fort Worth, home to numerous pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution facilities, ranks in the top 10 in venture funding, receiving more venture capital than any other Texas city. It is first among metropolitan regions for employment growth over the past decade and third in population growth. Incubators and accelerators promoting industry growth in biotechnology, medical device and medical technology abound.

Lubbock

Lubbock is home to WesTech Ventures I LP, a life science venture fund commercializing life science technologies from within the Texas Tech University System; the fund has launched three regional life science companies since 2003. The catalyst for bioscience industrial development has been the Lubbock Regional BioScience Initiative, launched in 2002. A program of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, it is designed to spotlight regional bioscience companies, emerging technologies, and specific sector expertise in the region. It provides services to companies and entrepreneurs. BASECAMP is a regional technology accelerator scheduled to launch in early 2005. It will focus on a variety of technologies, including the area of bioscience.

Lubbock's biotechnology arena draws from its proximity to a variety of companies and services, including the medical research and treatment resources found at Garrison Geriatric Care Center, Covenant Health System, University Medical Center and Highland Medical Center. Also in the area are a number of medical device companies and food and animal science research and development resources. Regional life science resources include Texas Tech University's Big XII University, Health Science Center and School of Law. Plant genetics research and development resources including Bayer CropScience Plant Genetics Research Facilities, USDA Plant Stress and Research Facility, AFD Seed Co, and a number of other firms.

Temple

Temple's innovative and longtime partnerships involving medical and research entities along with public-private, local, state and federal institutions have become a catalyst for biotechnology development in Central Texas, combining both human health and agri-bioscience components. Its newest asset to advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology, medical and agri-science research, medical device manufacturing and education is the Temple Life Science Research and Technology Center. The 500,000-square-foot building on 500 acres was purchased by the City of Temple to help attract new partners

Medicine, medical research and technology account for Temple's largest employment segment, with 10,000 direct jobs. Scott & White Hospital and Clinics is the largest employer in Temple, with more than 6,500 workers. Over the past three years, Scott & White has increased the size of its campus with expansion projects totaling $172 million. Together, medicine and manufacturing account for 57 percent of the total workforce, which numbers about 29,000.

Temple is located halfway between San Antonio and Dallas, making it a prime destination for rail traffic, therefore a prime business location. City leaders established a reinvestment zone to foster Temple's industrial growth. The zone has expanded, and now includes the original industrial park, the area adjacent to Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, downtown Temple, and a new industrial park in east Temple.

The Temple Economic Development Corporation manages two industrial parks, which it owns along with the City of Temple and the Temple Industrial Foundation. With a total of approximately 3,400 acres, the sites are served by city utilities. TEDC offers the Business Retention and Expansion Program to encourage growth of existing business.

TEDC works actively in partnership with the Cardiovascular Research Institute, Scott & White Memorial Hospital, King's Daughters Hospital, Central Texas Veterans Health Care Center, Texas A&M University Blackland/USDA Research Center and the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine to transform the Temple area into a world-class biotechnology center.

For more information, contact President of Temple Economic Development Corporation Larry Ruggiano at 800-374-9123 or lruggiano@choosetemple.com . Or visit the organization's Web site at www.choosetemple.com .

Metroplex

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is home to more than 100 biomedical technology companies ranging from pharmaceutical companies to start-up firms, and 1,158 medical research, development and testing laboratories. The Metroplex region has formed the Dallas-Fort Worth Life Sciences Partnership – The BioMetroplex Alliance, a coalition including the Greater Dallas Chamber, the Fort Worth Chamber, the Health Industry Council and the North Texas Commission, to continue fostering the growth of the region's broad life sciences industry.

The University of North Texas Health Sciences Center has built a six-story Biotechnology Center for its growing research programs and is developing the life sciences workforce needed through graduate programs in biotechnology. Also, the University of Texas at Arlington has launched two new multidisciplinary research facilities to complement its NanoFab Lab to bring biotechnology and nanosciences closer together.

VIRGINIA

Blacksburg & Montgomery County

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Corporate Research Center (CRC) is boosting biotech in Blacksburg, Virginia. CRC is home to seven biotech firms and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. Blacksburg is set to be a major contributor to the state's $2.5 billion biotech industry.

Charlottesville & Albemarle County

The University of Virginia (UV) calls Charlottesville home. UV's Fontaine Research Park hosts the Health Services Foundation, a 50-bed Rehabilitation Hospital and the Musculoskeletal Medical Office Building. When completed, the UV's Research Park at North Fork will include research laboratories, medical and pharmaceutical companies. Current tenants include MicroAire Surgical Instruments, Adenosine Therapeutics and Pinnacle Pharmaceuticals. The Emerging Technology Center provides both wet- and dry-lab space.

Richmond

Richmond offers BioTechnology Research Park adjacent to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. The Research Park has also spawned the Virginia Biosciences Development Center, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support early-stage life sciences companies in the park. Richmond is readying for biotech success in a state that already has more than 150 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Fairfax County

Fairfax County, Virginia is home to the Fairfax County BioAccelerator, which can accommodate up to 12 early-stage bioscience or bioinformatics companies. Five such companies currently operate there. This is good news for the north end of a state that already ranks first in the nation in the percent increase of bioscience R&D funding to the state's research institutions.

Loudoun County

The Janelia Farm Research Campus will bring 300 scientists together in Loudoun County, Virginia to share ideas in what marks the strong beginnings of a Northern Virginia biotech cluster. In addition, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute broke ground on the $500 million complex in the area in 2003.

Prince William County

Eli Lilly, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, selected Prince William County, Virginia as the site for a new $425 million, 600,000 square-foot manufacturing facility that will employ more than 700 people. The new facility will formulate, fill and package Lilly's products used worldwide in the treatment of diabetes.

George Mason University's biotech branch helped attract Eli Lilly and promises to draw others in the years to come.

Roanoke Valley

Carilion Biomedical Institute, a partnership between Carilion Health Systems, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, is strengthening biomedical research in the Virginia's Roanoke Valley and beyond by accelerating commercialization of research ideas into healthcare products. In addition, Virginia Western Community College offers an industrial biotechnology certification program to train tomorrow's skilled laborers.

WEST VIRGINIA

The I-79 Corridor

A thriving biotechnology center is developing along the I-79 corridor, which includes proximity to West Virginia University and provides opportunities for collaboration with Pittsburgh-based biotech companies. West Virginia University offers the world's first bachelor's degree in forensic identification and biometrics. The Morgantown region includes the Biometrics Fusion Center, the prime biometrics technology research and development facility within the Department of Defense.

The Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center in Wheeling is an industry leader in the technology transfer and commercialization industry. The NTTC's links American businesses with technologies, facilities and world-class researchers within federal labs and agencies. The area is also home to Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, a collaborative effort between WVU and Johns Hopkins University that focuses on neurological disorders. In addition, West Virginia University's Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR) is the first National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center focused on advancing the technology and performance of biometric systems. Area research parks include the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation's 500-acre I-79 Technology Park and the 100-acre WVU Research Park at which Protea Biosciences is expected to be the first tenant.

Advantage Valley

Advantage Valley, which runs along I-64 through the areas surrounding Charleston and Huntington is a prime biotechnology location. Marshall University in Huntington focuses on biotechnology, with expertise in forensics, environmental science and medical research. With MU as an anchor, the corridor's concentration of chemical companies serves as a foundation for biomanufacturing and industrial biotechnology. In fact, the Marshall University Biotechnology Center will provide an environment where scientific concepts can be guided to market and biotech firms can find research support. Marshall also offers the Institute for Development of Entrepreneurial Advances to commercialize technology.

The Mid-Atlantic Technology Research and Innovation Center is a non-profit organization that brings research and development activities to the Advantage Valley area. West Virginia has committed $1.5 million in FY2004 for the development of a biotechnology incubator in South Charleston. The incubator will be created in space that formerly housed R&D labs of Dow Chemical. This area also offers Kinetic Park, a 95-acre business and technology park, opened in Huntington in spring 2004.

Eastern Panhandle

West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle is within easy commuting distance of Washington, D.C. The I-270 corridor and other parts of the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area has a concentration of biotech companies due in part to the location of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. The region's Gateway New Economy Council works to advance high-tech education and business growth in the area.