ALACHUA ‒ On April 20, more than 500 life science industry professionals from emerging and established life sciences companies, universities and research institutions gathered at Momentum Labs in Alachua's Progress Park for the 18th Annual BioFlorida Celebration of Biotechnology, the state’s largest life sciences exhibit show. Alachua is home to a burgeoning biotech cluster and in recent years the area has seen large growth in biotech industries in Progress Park and along the U.S, Highway 441 corridor.

BioFlorida is the voice of Florida's life sciences industry, representing 8,600 establishments and research organizations in biopharma, medtech, digital health, and health systems that collectively employ nearly 107,000 Floridians. The BioFlorida event was first held in 2003 in Progress Park on UF Sid Martin’s patio with 40 attendees. With the support of the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, research and scientific advancements have grown the industry exponentially in Alachua. This year's event had nearly 500 participants with over 114 exhibitors.

The event provides an opportunity to learn about industry innovation and development, explore career opportunities, network with leaders, and drive collaborations to fuel future growth in the region. Celebration of Biotechnology exhibitors represented many of the emerging technologies in life sciences and biotechnology and representatives were available for participants to discuss the products with company personnel. Organizers also offered moderated bus tours of the local life science facilities, and following the event, Santa Fe College Perry Center for Emerging Technologies, located across Highway 441, provided a tour of their facilities.

At 11:30, President and CEO of BioFlorida Nancy Bryan gave a short introductory speech, followed with remarks by Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper and Brian Crawford, CEO and owner of Concept Companies, a nationwide real estate development company. “Scientists and researchers in the region are making advancements across multiple therapeutics areas including wound care, nerve repair, joint replacement, cell and gene therapy, Alzheimer’s, immumo-oncology, treatments for rare diseases, and many more,” said Crawford.

Referencing construction of the Momentum Lab facilities, Crawford said the facility offers growing life science companies access to needed resources, lab space and a highly desirable lifestyle. “We expect this trend to accelerate, propelling the future growth of the region,” said Crawford. “This would not have happened in Alachua if not for the support and cooperation from Mayor Coerper and the Ctiy of Alachua. They have consistently supported the vision of building the biotech hub in this area.”

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