Explore a Municipality
Meet with the Alliance
Technology & Life Sciences
Technology and life science companies find Greater Fort Lauderdale provides a stimulating environment for business success. The region’s assets include a readily available base of skilled knowledge workers, a warm climate for creative activities, convenient access to world markets, and a cooperative spirit that helps turn research discoveries into commercial products.
South Florida has deep roots in the technology sector, including the distinction of being the birthplace of IBM’s PC in the early 1980s. Today, the technology landscape continues to attract global companies, along with successful “home-grown” businesses and innovative start-ups. Greater Fort Lauderdale’s IT/telecom companies employ more than 50,000 people, according to recent surveys. Overall, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area is one of the nation’s Top 100 Tech Centers as defined by bizjournals.com, with a recent ranking of 62.
In the life sciences, Greater Fort Lauderdale is located at the center of a fast-growing regional cluster. To the north are Scripps Florida, Max Planck Florida Institute, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, and Oregon Health & Science University’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. In Greater Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University is expanding its research facilities and to the south, the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine is investing in bioscience research and commercialization.
A Cooperative Spirit
Another regional group, the South Florida Technology Alliance (SFTA) promotes the growth, success and awareness of the South Florida technology community. In conjunction with partners like the Alliance and Gold Coast Venture Capital Association, SFTA helps connect companies, academia, capital resources and government to help ensure the immediate and future success of technology-related interests in South Florida.
A Central Location
On the up-and-coming side of the spectrum is Pompano Beach’s ServusXchange, LLC, which was ranked No. 17 on the Forbes inaugural ranking of "America's Most Promising Companies." The IT company’s flagship product is MyOnlineToolbox, a community platform that brings business innovations to contractors who repair and remodel homes.
Other Greater Fort Lauderdale IT companies include Microsoft Latin America, Cbeyond, Inc., a Miramar managed services provider to small businesses, and Blue Frog Solutions in Pompano Beach, a leading provider of middleware solutions for life insurance carriers, underwriters and their distributors and agents. DataBridge Corp. in Oakland Park is a computer engineering consultancy that develops turnkey computing solutions for its clients.
In the online sector, Saveology.com is a national consumer comparison-shopping provider, while eDiets.com, Inc., is a leading provider of convenient at-home diet, fitness and healthy lifestyle solutions. ReStockIt.com in Hollywood is an online retailer of restaurant, janitorial and office supplies.
• Research in Motion, a worldwide designer and manufacturer of wireless communications devices and services, including the famous BlackBerry family, has a major facility in Sunrise.
• FoxConn, which manufactures wireless communication, computer and consumer electronics products in its Sunrise facility.
• General Dynamics C4 Systems, whose Sunrise facility makes wireless communications and mobility information systems for military, homeland security and business customers.
Peak 10 Data Center Solutions is strategically located in the heart of Broward County in one of the largest Category 5 rated commercial facilities in South Florida. Its 66,000 square foot data center is equipped with fully armed security, office facilities and incorporates a 22,000 square-foot, 18" raised floor data center with full 9 foot ceiling height. Its network includes a fully redundant infrastructure, Cisco 7606 core devices, Cisco 6509 distribution devices, diverse fiber entry points and Tier-1 Fiber and Bandwidth Providers such as NTT, Qwest, AT&T, Fiberlight FP&L Fibernet and Level 3 .
Altogether, South Florida is home to more than 1,500 bioscience businesses and institutions that employ over 26,000 people and generate over $4 billion in sales, according to recent surveys. Key assets include access to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s growing clinical research facilities, as well as world-class medical centers, such as the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Research Center, Cleveland Clinic Florida and Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., recently opened a new facility in Weston with engineering, information technology and purchasing services. Another recent arrival is bioRASI, a strategic initiative of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) which selected Hollywood for its worldwide headquarters. Another example is Aveva Drug Delivery Systems, a Miramar-based Nitto Denko company dedicated to the development and advancement of transdermal drug delivery systems for select industry partners.
One of the major locally based life sciences companies is Goodwin Biotechnology, Inc., a fully integrated contract manufacturing organization (CMO) of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins for preclinical and Phase I/II/III clinical trials. Plantation-based GBI has worked with companies of all sizes, from small university spin-offs to major research institutes, government agencies and large established biopharmaceutical companies. Not far away, Sunrise-based Bioheart, Inc. has developed an innovative approach to repairing damaged heart muscle by using the body’s own cells.
Fort Lauderdale-based OmniComm Systems, Inc. is a global provider of eclinical solutions with a satellite office in Bonn, Germany for its TrialMaster eClinical products platform. In the U.S., Massachusetts General Hospital recently licensed technology that will help treat HIV and hepatitis C to Altor BioScience Corp., in Miramar.
MAKO Surgical Corp. is a medical device company that markets both its RIO® Robotic-Arm Interactive Orthopedic system and its proprietary RESTORIS® implants for minimally invasive orthopedic knee procedures.
New Research Facilities
Supporting the life sciences sector, Nova Southeastern University’s planned Center for Collaborative Research will provide R&D opportunities for the region’s bioscience companies. This NSU facility will be home to the Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research, Florida LambdaRail, information and technology services, investigators from the Health Professions Division and Oceanographic Center, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Fort Lauderdale-based Moss Miller, LLC, was recently awarded a contract to design and build a $37 million Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Science at the NSU Oceanographic Center at the entrance channel to Port Everglades. The new center will double the existing space of the current NSU Oceanographic Center. Designed to withstand coastal storm surges and hurricanes, the facility will do research on the management and conservation of the South Florida coral reefs.
For more information on IT and life sciences companies, see www.gflalliance.org
Broward Calendar of Events