Georgia‘s bioscience industry is key to replacing jobs and investment in the state, which has been hard-hit by the loss of manufacturing companies to lower-cost locations and labor abroad, said Gov. Sonny Perdue during a speech at the Georgia Life Sciences Summit 2003 in Atlanta last week. 

            Georgia’s universities are central to this strategy because they can be tapped to attract new bioscience talent in the short-term and better educate workers for the bioscience industry over time, he told summit attendees.

He added that he would also concentrate efforts in the coming year on recruiting non-profit, health-focused organizations to Georgia, building on the base the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide in this area.

            “I want to create a cluster of non-profit, life science headquarters in Georgia” that can draw from the state’s labor pool, existing infrastructure and university resources, said Mr. Perdue.

            He encouraged local bioscience companies and the Georgia Biomedical Partnership, organizers of the summit, to play a role in the initiative by identifying potential organizations for recruitment and marketing Georgia’s bioscience infrastructure nationally and abroad.

            He noted that the state is ratcheting up its effort to market Georgia’s bioscience industry worldwide through trade shows and other promotional tools.

Mr. Perdue, who also attended the Southern Governors’ Association annual meeting last week, said other southern states were looking to bioscience to bolster their economies that have been affected by the downturn in manufacturing.

But he remained positive in his outlook for Georgia, which was ranked the ninth largest bioscience community in the United States in an Ernst & Young LLP study released earlier this year.

            “The best manufacturing days of our state are ahead of us if we look in the right places, and this includes the bioscience industry,” he said.

            He pointed specifically to the development of innovative technology, such as nanotechnology, and specialized manufacturing, including bioscience manufacturing, as fields in which Georgia should encourage growth.

            For additional information, contact the summit organizers at (770) 946-3480.