When Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport recently passed O’Hare as the nation’s busiest, the only people shocked were those living in the backwater provinces of Los Angeles and New York City. Georgians are used to a booming economy, and now they’re seeking recognition as a genetic research and biotechnology hub.
Since forming 10 years ago, the Georgia Research Alliance has invested a substantial portion of its $300 million into biotechnology and biotech startups. The Georgia Department of Industry and Trade is also committed to attracting new companies to the area, such as NuTec, recently lured away from Houston.
Another score is former Monsanto researcher, Clifton Baile. An eminent scholar in agricultural biotechnology at the University of Georgia, Baile leads the alliance’s functional genomics and proteomics cluster. These facilities will serve the GRA’s cooperating universities, including Emory, the University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech.
Recent startups in the Peach State include Prolinia, Cytogenesis, and Avigenics, prompting Business Facilities Magazine to rate Georgia’s biotechnology industry the fifth fastest-growing in the nation. GRA Program Manager Kitty Vogt says, “Our investments to date mean that Georgia is well positioned to be a leader in the biotech industry — particularly agricultural biotechnology and functional genomics and proteomics.”
— Paul D. Thacker