W - RTI - DSCF7543 copyAlachua Mayor Gib Coerper joins an RTI executive in breaking ground on an expansion of the biotechnology facility.

ALACHUA – A groundbreaking celebration was held by RTI Biologics Inc. for its new 41,165-square-foot Logistics and Technology Center located in Progress Corporate Park on Monday, Jan. 7.

RTI is a provider of orthopedic and other biological implants headquartered in Alachua, Fla. The center, a $14 million investment, will house the company’s research and development offices and laboratories. The facility will also be used to produce RTI’s upcoming map3 cellular allogeneic bone grafts, which provide the three elements necessary for bone repair – osteoconductive, osteoinductive and osteogenic potential. The bone grafts are made using bone marrow from organ and tissue donors.

City of Alachua mayor Gib Coerper ceremoniously dug into dirt using a golden shovel alongside RTI businessmen.

“It’s a pretty amazing place if you think about what they do and how many people they help,” Coerper said.

RTI has expanded organ and tissue donation and has made donation more important, he said.

Two-thirds of the more than 30 businesses in Progress Corporate Park, located next to San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, are bioscience or technology companies. Approximately 1,200 employees work in the park.

RTI employs more than 700 people globally, with international offices in Germany and France. More than 500 employees are in the Alachua location. The addition of the center and the production of the map3 will create approximately 15 jobs.

The Logistics and Technology Center, in addition to the company’s acquisition of a 15,425-square-foot office building in Progress Corporate Park, will expand the company’s total occupied space to 200,000 square feet.

“This new facility represents the continued growth and expansion of our company and allows us room for future growth,” said Brian K. Hutchison, RTI president and CEO.

RTI spun off from the University of Florida Tissue Bank in April 1998 as Regeneration Technologies, Inc. and went public on the NASADAQ stock exchange in August 2000. A merger with Tutogen Medical Inc. in February 2008 made the company what it is today.

RTI was named Business of the Year twice by the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce in 2005 for innovation and 2009 for expansion.

“At RTI, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate and participating in the economic development of our regions,” Hutchison said. “We are excited to expand our facilities in Alachua, Fla., and are glad to be a part of a community that is focused on fostering innovation and success.”

Construction is expected to be finished in early 2014.

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