July 25, 2014

Business Florida 2013 - The Regions

North Central Florida

Alachua, Gainesville, Ocala, Perry

| 9/20/2012

ECONOMIC LIFE

Agribusiness
• Alachua-based Pasteuria Bioscience has entered into a licensing and distribution agreement with Swiss agritechnology giant Syngenta for all of its existing and future turf grass products. The agreement includes Econem®, an environmentally safe sting-nematode control product introduced in 2010 for the golf and sports turf markets, and products to treat nematode pests in soybean, sugar beets, cotton and specialty fruit and vegetable crops that are currently under development at Pasteuria.

• In January 2012, partners Buckeye Technologies and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences officially opened The Stan Mayfield Biorefinery Pilot Plant in Perry, where researchers are testing a variety of feedstocks, including crop residues and yard waste, to determine suitable sources of cellulosic biomass to make ethanol.

Entrepreneurial Support
• Billed as a “super incubator,” Florida Innovation Hub is attracting interest from scientists, entrepreneurs, inventors, investors and students in fields as diverse as agriculture, engineering and biotechnology who are looking to turn their ideas into marketable products. In addition to office and lab space for more than 20 emerging high-tech companies, this 48,000-sq.-ft. facility houses the University of Florida’s Office of Technology Licensing and UF Tech Connect®, its main commercialization offices. Innovation Hub is just one of many buildings beginning to take shape at Innovation Square, a 24/7 live-work-play environment strategically positioned between downtown Gainesville and the UF campus offering an anticipated million square feet of offices, laboratories, restaurants, stores and housing, all of which will feature ultrahigh-speed connectivity.

• As one of 30 U.S. research universities participating in the nationwide Gig.U initiative, UF is partnering with Gainesville Regional Utilities to offer business and residential customers in Innovation Square access to gigabit broadband connections up to 100 times faster than standard DSL and cable services.

• In February 2012, Ocala opened its first business incubator with two high-tech resident companies: Ocoos.com and Digital Fury. Housed in a renovated 1916 electric generation plant, The Power Plant is the start of what this city hopes will become an “innovation campus” in the heart of downtown. To that end, work has begun on a neighborhood park and improved street lighting.

NOTABLE EMPLOYERS

Agriculture and Forestry

• Buckeye Technologies Inc. - Perry

• PCS Phosphate - White Springs

• Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation - Live Oak

• Suwannee Lumber Company - Cross City

Manufacturing

• Lockheed Martin Ocala Operations - Ocala

• Monterey Boats - Williston

• Signature Brands - Ocala

Logistics and Distribution

• Cheney Brothers Inc. - Ocala

• Johnson & Johnson Inc. - Madison

Healtcare

• Shands Hospital at the University of Florida - Gainesville

• Ocala Health System - Ocala

Biotechnology

• Biotork - Gainesville

Tags: North Central, Business Florida

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