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Celebrate Biotechnology Alachua’s Annual Event Showcases Biotechnology and its Growth

BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON rogress Corporate Park sits on the outskirts of Alachua. It does not draw a lot of attention to the eye as drivers whiz past the biotech powerhouse on County Road 441, but the collection of businesses ranks as the third largest biotech cluster in Florida. On May 9th, the Annual Celebration of Biotechnology will spotlight these various biotech companies in the local region, as well as the growth of the industry within Alachua County and Florida. “Our cluster is different than the other two,” said Patti Breedlove, the associate director at the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator. “Our companies are closer together, with


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most of them inside Progress Park. That’s why we are able to hold this kind of event.” The event starts at 9:30 a.m. on the front lawn of RTI Biologics, located in Progress Corporate Park. It lasts until 1:00 p.m., and is free for attendees. For the 10th year in a row, the Biotech Celebration, which is sponsored by BioFlorida, will showcase more than 70 vendors during the popular outdoor event. It draws nearly 400 visitors each year from all over Florida, though the majority comes from the Alachua County area. “It’s a big deal,” Breedlove said. “The celebration started out in the backyard of the Sid Martin Incubator as a small event, and

quickly grew so large we had to bring in the big tents.” Originally, the event was just a celebration with a gathering from local biotech companies, but no vendors. During a program held inside RTI Biologics, the host of the event, announcers intend to recognize the importance of the Celebration’s 10th anniversary and introduce the new BioFlorida director, Breedlove said. The Celebration of Biotechnology allows local biotech companies the opportunity to advertise their products directly to the consumer. Banyan Biomarkers scientist Juan Martinez said he uses the celebration to network with vendors selling items such as automated protection purification platforms. It provides

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