Palm Beach County is the heart of the basic biomedical research community in Florida. Research institutes, biotech, pharmaceutical, manufacture and medical device companies are attracted to Palm Beach County for many reasons, including:
As with many other industries in the State of Florida, life sciences businesses benefit from the favorable tax climate. In a recent study done by the Boyd Company, Palm Beach County was ranked as one of the cheapest areas in North America to operate a bioscience research facility.
The County and Municipal governments in Palm Beach County wholeheartedly support the development of the life sciences industry, as shown by the investment made by the Board of County Commissioners in Scripps Florida. The recruitment of Scripps Florida to Palm Beach County created a solid anchor on the Florida Atlantic University Campus in Jupiter.
In 2006, five municipalities and Palm Beach County drafted an Interlocal Agreement to establish a Bioscience Research Protection Overlay to protect portions of land for biotechnology and biosciences land uses that are in proximity to the Scripps Research Institute.
In late 2007, the Business Development Board facilitated a partnership between Palm Beach County, the State of Florida, the Town of Jupiter, and Florida Atlantic University to recruit the Max Planck Society to Palm Beach County.
Furthermore, several municipalities and Palm Beach County have adopted expedited permitting initiatives for life sciences companies and other targeted industry companies.
For CHS Pharma, an emerging biotechnology company in Jupiter, one of the key business advantages is proximity to the county's world-renowned research institutions. "FAU's Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (CMBB) is the center of our scientific research, and we are a licensee of FAU innovations."
Stephen Chakoff, CEO, CHS Pharma
World class research and support infrastructure
Due to the strategic investments and partnerships by the State of Florida, the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners, and Florida Atlantic University, the life sciences cluster in Palm Beach County is anchored by two world-renowned research institutions, the Scripps Research Institute and the Max Planck Florida Institute. Scripps Florida is comprised of six cutting-edge departments:
Cancer Biology, Chemistry, Infectology, Metabolism and Aging, Molecular Therapeutics, and Neuroscience.
These groups dovetail ideally with the departments at the Max Planck Florida Institute: Bio-imaging, Bio-sensing, and Cellular Mechanisms.
Between Scripps Florida, Max Planck Florida Institute, and Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach County is home to some of the world's most respected researchers, including a Nobel Laureate.
The major research institutes collaborate and partner with the strong community of innovative companies that span medical devices, pharmaceuticals, manufacturers, therapeutics, and biotechnology in Palm Beach County. Some examples of the successful companies in our region include:
- Anspach Synthes
- Atlas Spine
- BIOMET 3i
- Biotest Pharmaceuticals
- CHS Pharma
- Dyadic International
- Cytonics Corporation
- Dyadic International, Inc.
- Envoy Therapeutics
- Opko Health
- Sancilio and Company
Recognizing that research is only one component of the life sciences, there is a strong focus on translating basic research into commercial applications. In order for that translation to occur, wet lab facilities where scientists can further develop their discoveries are needed. Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida (EDC) located in the Research Park at Florida Atlanta University adjacent to FAU in Boca Raton offers mentoring for entrepreneurs. EDC now has a small incubator facility in Palm Beach Gardens.
In addition, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE) owns and manages a 46,000 square-foot innovation center less than a quarter mile from Scripps Florida. State-of-the-art wet labs are available for lease, with shared office and administrative services -- ideal for small biotech companies that want a foothold in this emerging hotbed!
Universities and Colleges
Palm Beach County is home to five universities, including Florida Atlantic University (FAU), which was recently classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a "Research University-High Research Activity" institution. Sponsored research at FAU during the fiscal year 2011 was $43.2 million - a 15% increase over the previous fiscal year. FAU is also home to Scripps Florida and the Max Planck Florida Institute.
Florida Atlantic University (FAU)
Now more than a quarter-century old, FAU’s Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences is dedicated to understanding the principles and mechanisms that underlie complex behavior. From the microscopic level of cells and organelles to the grand scale of human interaction, our mission is to bring together multiple disciplines to tackle the most intriguing questions about the brain, the mind, consciousness, and behavior.
FAU has three Ph.D. programs available to students who wish to pursue graduate studies and research in the different areas of neuroscience. In addition, a Neuroscience Certificate for Masters and Ph.D. students and an undergraduate program in Neuroscience and Behavior is also offered. These programs are designed to foster the scientific and professional development of our students through coursework and research opportunities across a broad range of modern neuroscience.
As one of its research priority areas, FAU has begun a Healthy Aging Initiative headed by professors in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. The research goal is to create new interdisciplinary collaborations among FAU faculty and students, provide opportunities for a broad range of research (including health services, clinical, translational, and basic research), and result in innovative research proposals for federal, state, foundation and other sources of funding.
In the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Professor Marc Kantorow and his team are researching eye repair systems and eye diseases. Kantorow is seeking to understand how mutations in key genes cause multiple eye and vision diseases, from cataracts to age-related macular degeneration.
Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College is deeply involved in the development of the life science industry in Palm Beach County. In 2008, it opened a new 90,000 square-foot Bioscience Technology Complex on its Palm Beach Gardens campus. The facility trains students in various fields associated with the life sciences and runs internship programs in the area’s life science community.
Palm Beach State College’s Employ Florida Banner Center for Life Sciences is Florida’s industry-driven resource for life sciences workforce education and training. Led by an industry advisory council that includes medical devices, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology representatives, the Banner Center develops state-of-the-art, industry-driven curriculum products and services deployed statewide in various training and education centers. Modules are developed and updated with guidance from representatives of the life sciences industry sectors to support the pipeline of workers needed for current and future employment demands.
Access to Capital
Palm Beach County is home to one of only four biotech investment banks nationwide: Dawson James in Boca Raton. There are numerous angel investor networks in Palm Beach County, as well as venture capital firms. In addition, Palm Beach is world renowned for its philanthropic community. BioCatalyst International helps companies with seed financing and preparing business plans for review by venture firms and progressing technology to trial phase.
New World Angles, a group of private investors dedicated to providing equity capital to early-stage entrepreneurial companies in the state of Florida, has chapters in South Florida and the Tampa Bay area and is typically a lead or co-investor in transactions totaling between $0.5 million and $2.5 million. Members of NWA have extensive experience in founding, building, and managing companies in a wide variety of industries. In addition to providing funding, NWA members make their expertise and resource networks available to portfolio companies. www.newworldangel.com
The Gold Coast Venture Forum is designed to facilitate the flow of information between entrepreneurs and investors. Created by the Gold Coast Venture Capital Association, the Forum provides start-up, early stage, and expansion or second stage companeis, with a venue to reach funding sources, i.e; angeliInvestors, venture capital companies, investment bankers, fund managers, etc. The Forum also provides these companies with the opportunity to meet professionals such as attorneys, CPAs, financial consutlants, management consultants, business plan consultants, marketing specialists, service providers, and other entrepreneurs. www.gcva.org
Whether by water, air, rail, highway, or mass transit, Palm Beach County boasts an efficient, integrated transportation system, from a major international airport and three commercial/executive airports to an expanding port that ranks among the state's finest…and busiest. In addition, Palm Beach County is within close proximity to Fort Lauderdale International Airport, Miami International Airport, Port Everglades, and the Port of Miami.
Growing and Diverse Population
The population of Palm Beach County stands at approximately 1.3 million people. Every day, more relocate here to take advantage of our outstanding business opportunities and unparalleled quality of life.
The South Florida region (stretching from Palm Beach County to Miami-Dade County) encompasses nearly 6 million people, making it the 7th-largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States.
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Where can you get more information?
Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
310 Evernia Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO
Gary Hines, Senior Vice President, Administration
Brian Cartland, Vice President, Business Recruitment
Shawn Rowan, Vice President, Business Retention and Expansion