The Palm Beach Post published an article referencing a study by the Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis Government Accountability, citing disappointment in the lack of progress in creating a South Florida biotech cluster. A similar article in the Orlando Sentinel estimated that the $1.5 billion investment by taxpayers has resulted in a small number of new jobs, and the “cost” of each new biotech job is $1.4 million.
As many others have stated, it takes time to build a major biotech cluster. I know; I was part of the Boston biotech start-up in 1981. I founded a small company with three employees called Genzyme. It now has 11,000 employees worldwide and $4.5 billion in annual revenues. I have since created four more biotech companies, Upstate, Biotage, MolecularMD and Xcovery. All are operating successfully and have created many jobs.