Gov. Nathan Deal saluted Georgia’s life sciences companies for their economic impact, predicting continued growth of this industry at an Atlanta conference Wednesday.
The life sciences industry includes companies involved in biotechnology, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and agricultural science. The industry and related university research, along with the CDC, have a $20 billion annual economic impact on the state and produce more than 94,000 jobs, according to a 2012 report by the University of Georgia.
The industry “brings together both the public and private sector,’’ Deal said in an address at the 2013 Georgia Life Sciences Summit.
Deal pointed to a major recruiting achievement in Baxter International’s building a $1 billion biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Stanton Springs, east of Atlanta. It will employ 1,500 people.
He noted that Baxter is taking advantage of Georgia’s Quick Start program, which provides free training and recruitment for employees to be hired by new companies coming to the state.
Russell Allen, the president and CEO of Georgia Bio, an industry trade association, said Wednesday that while the life sciences industry is robust in the state, he hopes that it can attract more sources of capital and partners.
“From there, the industry can really take off,’’ he said.
Life sciences firms generally are clustered in and around Atlanta, Athens and Augusta, where major universities are located.
“The strength of Georgia’s life sciences industry starts with the universities,’’ Allen said.