Alachua County: High Tech Hotbed
» Pasteuria Bioscience hit pay dirt when it developed technology to use naturally occurring soil bacteria called Pasteuria to control nematodes, parasitic worms that destroy plants and cause $100 billion in worldwide crop damage each year. The Alachua-based company, which has resided in the Sid Martin incubator since its launching in 2003, was acquired in 2012 by Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta in a deal worth $113 million.
» RAPiD Genomics is a DNA genotyping and genetic data analysis company providing tools for agricultural companies and researchers to quickly breed and grow ideal crops and livestock. Amid rapid growth, the company is doubling its lab/office space and plans to hire at least four new employees, says CEO John McGuire.
RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS & TECH TRANSFER
» UF’s research and development spending in 2011 totaled $740 million, placing it 12th in R&D expenditures among U.S. public universities. While more than $360 million of that total was for health-related research, the College of Engineering drew more than $75 million in research funding.
» The University of Florida is home to numerous institutes and centers of excellence, including the Center for Smell and Taste, the Center of Excellence for Regenerative Health Biotechnology, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Emerging Pathogens Institute, the Florida Climate Institute, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), the Florida Energy Systems Consortium, the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, the Nanoscience Institute for Medical and Engineering Technology, the UF Genetics Institute, the Institute for Plant Innovation and the Water Institute. Over the past 12 years, UF’s Office of Technology Licensing has helped start more than 140 biomedical and technology companies, including 15 companies in 2012 alone. In 2011, with $8.2 million in federal grant money, the university opened the 48,000-sq.-ft. Innovation Hub, where tech startups can lease lab and office space. Current tenants include Apps for Docs, medical-image analysis company Constellation Research and sports marketing company Sporting Odyssey, among others.