Posted: 12:49 pm Friday, April 12th, 2013
By Jeff Ostrowski
Over the past decade, Florida has committed $1.5 billion to build nonprofit biotech labs, not to mention $135 million in incentives to animation firm Digital Domain.
The result? Florida ranks in the bottom third of states in the Milken Institute’s new tech and science report.
It’s no surprise that Florida trails tech powerhouses Massachusetts, Maryland and California, which take the top three spots. It’s more surprising that Florida couldn’t even beat Tennessee, Hawaii and Montana, which place 35th, 36th and 37th.
“Florida has clearly tried to step up its game,” said Kevin Klowden, senior economist at the Milken Institute and co-author of the rankings.
Klowden offers the familiar caveat that life-science hubs don’t sprout overnight, even with $1.5 billion in public fertilizer.
“Biotech takes a while to build up,” he said.
The Milken Institute looked at dozens of measures, including education spending, student test scores, federal research grants, venture capital investment, patents issued, and concentration of scientists and engineers.
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Occupation: Reporter My sports/favorite activities: I drop everything to surf. When there are no waves (which is often in South Florida), I cycle, run, swim and lift weights. Old age has forced me to retire from hoops, softball and Ultimate Frisbee. Goal: Stay in shape, stay uninjured, complete a sprint triathlon and maybe run a 5K in under 20 minutes again. When I'm not training: I live in Lake Worth with my wife and two children.