ALACHUA – University of Florida’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator was awarded the 2013 Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year and the Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year in the technology category at the National Business Incubation Association’s international conference on April 9.

The Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator provides space, equipment and support services to expedite research and commercial development of biotechnologies in Progress Corporate Park in Alachua, Fla. Companies involved with the incubator include AxoGen, Pasteuria Bioscience and Nanotherapeutics, which recently secured a government defense contract worth millions.

Business incubation programs like the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful.

“This community and the University of Florida and the Alachua-Gainesville area are being recognized as a place where we really know how to foster the growth of biotechnologies,” said Patti Breedlove, associate director of the incubator.

The National Business Incubation Association estimates that in 2011 alone North American incubators assisted about 49,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for nearly 200,000 workers and generated annual revenue of almost $15 billion. Approximately 7,000 business incubators operate worldwide.

The average annual economic impact of the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator to the Alachua community is over $100 million a year, Breedlove said.

Progress Corporate Park, which borders San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, is home to many companies. Two-thirds of the more than 30 businesses in the park are bioscience or technology companies. Nearly 1,200 people now work at the Corporate Park.

In addition to high-paying employment, Sid Martin fosters creativity in agricultural, medical and scientific fields.

“We have companies that are developing tomorrow’s solutions,” Breedlove said.

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