In an attempt to add geek chic to Florida’s list of attractions, the state’s taxpayers have spent $1.5 billion to create a biotech hub. The money has gone to build labs for eight research institutes, including Scripps Florida and Max Planck Florida in Jupiter and the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute Florida in Port St. Lucie.

The idea, in large part, was to attract scientists like Marcel Oberlaender, a German who holds a doctorate in physics. He came to Jupiter after his boss, Nobel laureate Bert Sakmann, asked him to work at Max Planck Florida.

Oberlaender accepted partly because Germans view Florida as “paradise.” He moved here last year, and while Oberlaender gives a thumbs-up to the beaches and the weather, he has been frustrated by the business climate.

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