Florida has firmly established itself as a true hub for the life sciences. The Sunshine State is home to some of the nation’s most highly-regarded research centers, more than 1,100 biotech, pharmaceutical and medical devices companies, and a foundation of more than 46,000 healthcare establishments—including 720+ hospitals. Global industry leaders including Johnson & Johnson, Zimmer Biomet, Medtronic, Stryker-Mako, and Arthrex have all established locations across the state, and more companies are moving here to take advantage the state’s unmatched quality of life, highly-skilled workforce and low taxes.
Technological Advancements in Biomedical Resources Drives Jacksonville Manufacturers
The Jacksonville region has long been known as a center of growth, opportunity and leadership within the healthcare sector. The area is home to one of three Mayo Clinics, an MD Anderson Cancer Center and countless others, all with increasing footprints. Hospital systems in the region have invested more than $1.7 billion in expanded and new facilities to meet the needs of the explosive population growth.
While healthcare has been a meaningful part of regional growth, technology and exploration are at the forefront of the region’s health and biomedical industry. Medical device manufacturing, clinical trials, translational research and biomedical sciences are just a few of the specialties that drive innovation in the area.
Northeast Florida is a hub for medical device manufacturing, matched with a rapidly-growing biomedical and tech community. Manufacturers such as Zimmer Biomet, Medtronic, KLS Martin Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Anjon Medical Technologies have a meaningful presence within the Jacksonville region, demonstrating a strong infrastructure and talent base.
Momentum has been building for quite some time. Companies like Medtronic, one of the largest medical device companies in the world, who expanded its Jacksonville-based Ear, Nose and Throat headquarters in the last decade, has been growing annually with new job opportunities, acquisitions and four product launches in recent months. And, KLS Martin Group, a global leader in innovative surgical technology manufacturing, added a new training center to its North American headquarters in Jacksonville last year. The training center is designed for an innovative exchange of ideas among physicians, engineers and other employees, and includes a bio-skills laboratory on the campus.
Two attributes for the region’s rise of medical device manufacturing are the access to a skilled workforce and a low-cost tax climate. With a skilled workforce of more than 90,000, employment growth in Jacksonville in the health and biomedical industry continues to outpace the national average. Local health and biomedical companies cite the benefits of having top-notch curriculum for their field with the leading educational institutes of University of North Florida, Jacksonville University and Florida State College of Jacksonville. The region is also near the University of Florida and Florida State University allowing companies to further tap into the growing talent base of skilled health care and tech graduates.
The tax environment provides one of the most favorable for both businesses and individuals alike. Florida continues to be one of the top states in which to do business with zero state income tax and as well as zero sales and use tax on goods manufactured or produced in Florida for export outside the state and no sales/use tax on co-generation of electricity, just to name a few.
With a growing health and tech workforce, training programs and the numerous and meaningful tax benefits, the Jacksonville region is well positioned to bolster growth of medical device manufacturing in the near and long term and will continue to foster success through innovation and business-friendly solutions.
Visit JAXUSA.org for more information about doing business in the Jacksonville region.
Medical Device Manufacturing Emerges in Collier County
Collier County may be known for its vibrant tourism and hospitality economy, but the Southwest Florida community is also seeing steady growth in manufacturing. With more than 320 manufacturing operations in Collier County, ranging from medical device and defense to cable and wire manufacturers, this industry contributed more than $800 million to the local economy in 2019.
One of Collier County’s largest employers, Arthrex, happens to be in medical device manufacturing. Arthrex has added more than 3,000 jobs over the past 20 years with plans to add hundreds more soon. They recently underwent a multimillion dollar headquarter expansion and opened their Innovation Hotel.
The success of Arthrex has inspired a variety of small- and mid-sized medical device manufacturers to locate their operations in Collier County. This decision allows these smaller scale operations to benefit both by creating supply chain connections with Arthrex and from the pro-business environment offered by Collier County and the state.
A recent project that demonstrates Collier County’s attractiveness to this sector was the relocation of Summit Orthopedic Technologies, Inc., an industry leader in the manufacturing of medical devices and orthopedic implants. Summit transitioned its headquarters and all its production facilities from Connecticut to Naples along with 15 existing employees and its three owners. They have already hired 20 new employees and have committed to adding over 85 new jobs to Collier County and is on track even during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Another recent expansion by a leader in medical device manufacturing is Lenkbar LLC. The company started operations in Naples in 2012 with three employees. Now, Lenkbar’s growing success has facilitated their expansion into a new 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility near the Naples Airport. Lenkbar, LLC was also a winner of the Company to Watch Award at the 2018 Excellence in Industry Awards™ presented by The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, which recognize Collier County businesses that exemplify innovation, economic diversification, and community enhancement and was also listed on the 2020 GrowFL Companies to Watch list. This paints a small portion of the picture of the growth and success of medical device manufacturing in Collier County. There are many other programs and initiatives and that spurred from the county’s commitment to strengthening this and other targeted sectors.
In 2018, Collier County, with the assistance of the Greater Naples Chamber, received a $3 million from Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to create the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. The center, which opened in January 2020, not only builds on the traditional machining course offered at Immokalee Technical College, but also offers specialized, industry-specific training and apprenticeship programs. This training center benefits medical device and all other manufacturing operations and address the talent pipeline for Collier County manufacturers.
The Collier Board of County Commissioners are also taking steps to encourage growth in this sector, establishing Innovation Zones to promote economic development and diversify the economy. Under this program, the commissioners create a zone and set a base tax year. Any tax increases collected in that zone are deposited into that zone’s Innovation Trust Fund, and revenue from increased property values within a zone’s geographic boundaries helps pay for projects in that zone.
Collier County continues to be dedicated to creating a diverse economy by supporting industry cluster growth and maintaining the high quality of life important to residents, visitors and employers alike. For more information, visit NaplesChamber.org. Medical Device on the Rise in Greater Fort Lauderdale With a growing workforce and vibrant universities and research facilities, Greater Fort Lauderdale offers an ideal ecosystem for medical device companies. For decades, the area has been home to one of the most dynamic biomedical sectors in the country. Today, Stryker, Trividia, and Terumo Aortic are among the major medical device companies with R&D, manufacturing and distribution facilities in the area.
As a region, South Florida offers convenient access to leading research institutes and academic institutions. In Greater Fort Lauderdale – a longtime home for many biomedical companies – Nova Southeastern University is expanding its life science research facilities. To the north are Scripps Florida, Max Planck Florida Institute, and Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. To the south, the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and Florida International University’s Biomedical Engineering Department are investing in biomedical research and commercialization programs.
Life sciences companies, which include medical devices, also benefit from a trained 13,000-person workforce, and a value chain that includes suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce training programs. A Collaborative Approach South Florida’s academic institutions, research parks and economic development organizations have joined together to form Life Sciences South Florida (LifeSciencesSF.org). Its goal is to provide state, federal and private investment opportunities. The organization also facilitates the sharing of high-tech equipment and guides the development of a skilled biotechnology workforce capable of supporting cutting-edge research and commercial innovation.
On a statewide level, BioFlorida is the voice of Florida’s life sciences industry with regional chapters that represent nearly 5,500 establishments and research organizations in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices/diagnostics and bioagriculture sectors. BioFlorida’s initiatives provide a strong business climate for the advancement of innovative products that improve lives and promote economic benefits to the state.
Leading medical device companies in Greater Fort Lauderdale include:
- Stryker-Mako Surgical Corp. is a medical device company in Davie that markets its RIO® Robotic-Arm Interactive Orthopedic system and its proprietary RESTORIS® implants for minimally invasive orthopedic knee procedures. The company employs more than 400 people in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
- OrbusNeich is a global medical device company that develops therapies for vascular disease at its Advanced Research and Development facility in Fort Lauderdale.
- SHL Pharma recently expanded its manufacturing and R&D facility in Deerfield Beach. SHL Pharma is part of SHL Group, the world’s largest privately-owned designer, developer and manufacturer of advanced drug delivery systems.
- Stimwave in Pompano Beach manufactures two types of neurostimulator devices that provide long-lasting pain relief. The Freedom SCS System and StimQ PNS System relieve pain by sending electrical stimulation to block those pain signals from reaching the brain. Stimwave is powered wirelessly and without an implanted battery.
- Terumo Aortic in Sunrise develops products for endovascular aortic treatment, including its Relay Thoracic Stent-Graft with Plus Delivery System, a life-saving technology for patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms.
- Trividia Health, a subsidiary of China-based Sinocare Group, has a large facility in Fort Lauderdale manufacturing glucose-monitoring equipment and related products for diabetics.
- Unipharma manufactures drug delivery systems using innovative technologies such as Blow-Fill-Seal (BFS). BFS’ accurate and sterile filling technology not only guarantees the exact dose required by consumers but also eliminates any harmful contaminants found in normal manufacturing processes. The company’s state-of-the-art, 165,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is in Tamarac.
For more information about doing business in the Ft. Lauderdale region, visit gflalliance.org.