New York City has blown a tremendous opportunity to become one of the nation's foremost centers for biotechnology, finds a report released this week from the Center for an Urban Future, City Limits' sister organization. CUF's report points out that New York's vast range of hospitals, research institutes and universities should make the city an ideal breeding ground for the biotech business.
Instead, to our shame, only 20 biotech companies are located in the five boroughs today. The San Francisco Bay area has left us far behind with 22,200 jobs in the business. Philly also leaves New York in the dust, with a total of 60 firms. Even Birmingham, Alabama boasts at least 19.
According to the report, while other states and cities were helping to develop affordable lab space and setting up seed capital funds, New York's city and state officials completely abandoned the industry. As a result, scores of firms spun out of the city's research and medical base have left for the suburban playgrounds of Long Island, Tarrytown and Princeton.