Monday, February 11, 2008

Solano County: A Growing Regional Hub

Solano County: A Growing Regional Hub

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

Michael Ammann, president of Solano Economic Development Corporation, told business and government leaders at last week’s Solano Economic Summit (Thursday, Dec.13) in Fairfield, that the cities in Solano are already key players in biotech, but could see that role expanded tremendously in the coming years.

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

Ammann said Northern California currently has 900 companies in the biotech sector. 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 one-half billion dollars in research funding.

“And, all that is expected to double,” in the next ten years,” Ammann said.

Solano County is centrally located to server this expanding industrial sector, Ammann said.

Currently, Genentech, Alza and Novartis have major facilities in Vacaville, and Benicia is home to Bio-Rad. Vallejo will soon see Siemens, and Genentech will build a major R&D facility in Dixon.

Ammann said 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 locating 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 fined a way to turn on the lights, eat and stay health.”

Source: Solano Economic Development Corporation (12/19/07)

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