After the wildly important spanish-language TV interviews, I was given about 90 seconds to address the Life Science industry’s burning question: “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?”
Not exactly… But there has been some “chicken or egg” debate in Florida’s biotech circles this week about whether “The Industry” is doing enough to attract venture capital to the state, rather than relying on organic, internal job growth. So that’s the question I put to the Governor…
Scott said that “as Governor, I have to try to attract the venture capital and the hedge funds while trying to grow Life Sciences industry jobs too. And Florida’s biotech industry is growing. Yesterday I announced my goal of cutting sales tax on manufacturing equipment like that used by Vistakon, an optical manufacturer. Two days ago at Boulton Medical we celebrated the creation and retention of 100 medical device jobs. Now I’m here at Beckman Coulter where they’re building up Florida manufacturing. The Life Sciences industry is growing in Florida because we have the Three Ts: low Taxes, good Talent and a Technology industry base.”
Scott went on to hit his talking points about port development, cutting sales taxes on capital equipment and supporting science, technology, engineering and math education. Then he answered the question: “In addition to local job growth, we are talking to the venture capital people and the hedge funds too. We are trying to convince them to move their headquarters here and invest in Florida business too” Scott said.
So there’s your answer. Gov. Scott does not want to be a “one-trick-pony.” He is cheering on the organic growth of the biotechnology and medical device industries in Florida while he is trying to attract the investors. That’s right from the horse’s mouth.