Biotechnology comes to forefront in job growth - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Biotechnology comes to forefront in job growth

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A new initiative called "Research In Your Backyard" has a twofold purpose. To develop cures and to create jobs.

3,000 clinical trials underway right now across the state have created more than 17,000 jobs.

Some of those jobs can be found right here in Birmingham at Innovation Depot.

Governor Robert Bentley used Innovation Depot as the backdrop to announce the "Research In Your Backyard" initiative.

He believes knowledge and innovation will help boost Alabama's economy.

"We're creating jobs from knowledge," says Bentley. "We have very good researchers. We have people who have very good ideas to create companies."

One area where the governor hopes to bring in new companies is biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

The new initiative is aimed at promoting clinical trials and developing new medicines.

"That means taking those new ideas, new concepts from very early phase clinical trials, all the way through late stage when they are just about to be approved by the FDA," Dave Winwood, CEO of UAB's institute for innovation and entrepreneurship explains.

Winwood considers "Research In Your Backyard" a catalyst for job growth.

"It provides a really good stream of well paid jobs in technology areas, in healthcare and life sciences, across the spectrum."

Some of those jobs are grown through incubation at Innovation Depot.

CEO Devon Laney points to the twenty start-ups in the biotech field that have set up shop.

"There are companies at Innovation Depot in the biotech space, medical device space, that are developing technologies that will have a real tangible impact on healthcare on people around Alabama, and people around the world," says Laney.

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