Georgia’s life sciences industry just got bigger as Baxter International (IW 1000/309) broke ground on Wednesday for its new manufacturing facility.
With an investment that will exceed $1 billion, the facility, located near Atlanta, will employ 1,500 people.
“Today we begin the work to construct a new state-of-the-art biotechnology facility. In a few years, Baxter team members working in facilities located on the ground where we are standing today will produce lifesaving biologic treatments for patients around the world,” said Robert L. Parkinson, CEO of Baxter International at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Last April Baxter announced its plans to build a facility in Georgia that will manufacture plasma-based therapies that treat chronic and life-threatening illnesses. The company will also locate warehouse and plasma testing laboratory facilities at the Stanton Springs site.
In addition, Stanton Springs will also be home to a biotech training center that will provide a workforce pipeline for Baxter and other members of the state’s bioscience industry. The training center will be owned by the state and operated by Georgia Quick Start the top-ranked customized workforce training program in the country.
Construction will begin in 2013, with completion of the first manufacturing buildings planned for 2015. Additional construction will continue into 2016 and the plant is anticipated to begin commercial production in 2018.
The state’s biosciences industry, plus the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have a $23 billion annual economic impact on Georgia and employ more than 105,000 people, according to statistics from the 2011 “Shaping Infinity” report, released by Georgia BIO.
The sector created $19.5 billion in output and contributed $7.5 billion to the state GDP as well as $496 million in tax revenues for state and local governments.
Georgia’s bioscience industry cluster includes more than 320 multinational firms, consisting of many small- and medium-sized companies that include the full scope of the bioscience sector.
The state also supports public-private partnerships in bioscience, including the Georgia Research Alliance, through which the state’s six research universities collaborate with businesses to create, improve and grow science- and technology-based companies.