Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Biotechnology Industry Organization Honors Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Governor of the Year

/PRNewswire/ -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced its selection of Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as 2009 Governor of the Year in recognition of his leadership and support of the biosciences in Georgia.

"Governor Perdue's support of biotechnology has been vital for our industry's success in Georgia," said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO. "He has been a stalwart advocate of the biosciences in Georgia and truly understands the promise of our industry to provide revolutionary therapies and cures for patients, increase agricultural sustainability and develop alternative fuels. In addition, I would like to personally thank the Governor and his team at the Department of Economic Development for being such great partners in helping to plan and organize the upcoming 2009 BIO International Convention."

Among Governor Perdue's programs is the implementation of the first-ever seed capital and facilities funds focused specifically on the life sciences industry. The Georgia Bioscience seed fund has been used to support 16 start-up companies over the past two years. The life sciences facilities fund assists companies with their facility needs including new building and laboratory construction. Governor Perdue has also allocated, on average, $30 million to $40 million a year towards strengthening research in life sciences and other advanced technologies at the state's universities.

"Governor Perdue recognizes that a robust life sciences industry is essential for the state's economic growth," said Charlie Craig, President of GeorgiaBio. "He has put in place policies that will continue to support Georgia's position as a leading home for biotechnology long after he leaves office."

Research confirms biotechnology's strength in Georgia. Released today, the 2009 Shaping Infinity report, produced by GeorgiaBio in association with the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the Terry College of Business, includes the first-ever economic impact study of the life sciences industry in Georgia. The key finding of the study is that Georgia's life sciences companies contribute substantial economic activity to the state: one out of every 68 jobs in Georgia owes its existence to the life sciences industry and university research.

The industry is both a pillar of and a driver of the state's economy, translating into jobs, higher incomes, greater production of goods and services, and higher revenue collections for state and local government. The study reveals that Georgia's life sciences industry and research at the state's universities are responsible for:

-- 62,033 jobs
-- $17.3 billion in annual economic impact.

-- $517 million in tax revenues for state and local governments

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