Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Biotech Expansion Expected in County

Biotech Expansion Expected in County
The Reporter, Vacaville

Solano County is positioned to serve as the hub for Northern California's expanding biotech industry - expected to double in the next 10 years.

That was the message delivered recently to local business and government leaders by Michael Ammann, president of Solano Economic Development Corp.

At a summit of local leaders, Ammann said Solano cities already are key biotech players, but could see that role expand tremendously in coming years.

"Is Solano ready to double?" Ammann asked. "It has all the potential to double an already successful posture."

Ammann said Northern California has 900 biotech sector companies. Some 120 are publicly owned, employing 90,000, with a $6 billion annual payroll. The average wage is $68,000.

Currently there are 393 marketed products, and 400 new products in Phase II and III clinical trials.

The region has four major life science research universities with more than a half billion dollars in research funding.

"And all that is expected to double in the next 10 years," Ammann said.

Solano County is centrally located to serve this expanding industrial sector, he added.

Currently, Genentech, Alza and Novartis have major facilities in Vacaville, and Benicia is home to Bio-Rad. Vallejo will soon see Siemens on Mare Island, and Genentech will build a major research and development facility in Dixon.

Ammann expects that with biotech's expansion, other sectors also will expand. Food and beverage, for example, benefit from the R&D in the life sciences. Currently, with Mariani Foods, Clorox, Budweiser, St. Gobain, Cyto Sports Drinks, Abbott Labs and JG Guittard, Solano County is a growing location in this economic sector.

"We are a regional hub of opportunity and innovation, built on growth in energy, food/beverage and life sciences," Ammann said. "We can create a strong diversified economy based on the needs of a growing regional population who must find a way to turn on the lights, eat and stay healthy."

Solano's Got It!

Solano's Got It!
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