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Monday, June 14, 2010 - 11:13am

New Center Pushes Bio Entrepreneurship

Leaders in Georgia’s life sciences industry say the start-up of a new resource center will give a boost to the state’s bio-tech economy.

Officials say the Georgia Bioscience Commercialization Center in Atlanta will serve as a mentoring resource for those wanting to start a bio-tech business. About 20 people from the private company side of bio-science will volunteer their time to help.

State economic development and legislative leaders make no secret of their desire to grow bio-business in the state. Right now 800 bio-tech companies bring in $16 billion in revenue.

Ken Stewart with the state’s Department of Economic Development says it’s hard to pin down where Georgia ranks in bio industry. But he says it compares favorably to other Southeastern clusters of industry.

“It’s spread all over our state, it’s not in any one place. North Carolina, with the Research Triangle Park, has congregated a lot within that industry segment.”

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle says the state has room for improvement in the competition for bio-science investment.

“When you look at where we stand, we’ve made great strides. And we’re very proud of the investment that’s been there. But looking forward to the future, we have to be very creative.”

Cagle says part of that creativity is legislation passed this year to give $10 million dollars in tax credits to new bio-tech companies.