The Peach State Seeks South Korean Life Science Companies to Partake In Its Growing Economy

14 June 2022 | Tuesday | News

Since the invention of anesthesia in 1842, the state of Georgia has become a hub for domestic innovation in life sciences and is now home to over 2,000 companies in the industry including Johnson & Johnson, B.D. Company, and world renown players such as Gerresheimer and Boehringer-Ingelheim (Germany), Alcon (Switzerland), Sanofi (France), Takeda (Japan), and UCB (Belgium).
Image Source : Public Domain

Image Source : Public Domain

Over the past five years, Georgia has seen a nearly 30% employment growth in research, testing and medical labs, as well as 16% growth in life sciences and equipment. There was a 30% increase in jobs in industrial life sciences employment as a whole. 

Presently, there are more than 3,500 clinical trials underway or recruiting in Georgia due in part to our diverse population of over 10.6M residents.  Atlanta, GA has also been rated by Global Commercial Real Estate (CBRE) as a leading emerging market for life sciences. In 2021, Georgia exported $5.2 billion in immunological products and $1.9 billion in medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Georgia is actively expanding its global life science community by cultivating strong relationships with businesses in countries outside of the United States. In the last five years, life sciences foreign direct investments total more than $407 million and created 575 jobs.

South Korea is the state’s number one foreign direct investor. Although South Korean life sciences companies have yet to invest in Georgia, companies such as SK On, Duckyang, Kia, Hyundai Motor Group, and SUNGDO ENG USA are major contributors to Georgia’s growing economy; total trade in 2021 was $9.69 billion, up 22.51 percent. South Korea ranks third among the state’s importer nations, and 19 projects from the country represent the highest job creation from a single nation. Korea is also the 10th largest export market for Georgia.  Georgia has a representative based in Seoul to build relationships with businesses in the country and has been actively courting South Korean investments for more than 10 years. 

It’s therefore no surprise that Governor Brian Kemp is focused on recruiting South Korean life science players such as SD Biosensor, GC Pharma, Samsung Biologics and Yuhan, Kwang Dong Pharm for future research, collaboration and investment opportunities in the state. 

Take Advantage of a Talented Workforce 

A multi-faceted talent pool contributes to the success of the life sciences industry in Georgia, with more than 40-related eminent scholars supported by the Georgia Research Alliance, which draws innovation as well as grants and funding. A strong workforce is also being built thanks to the multiple academic institutions in the state including Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology), University of Georgia (UGA), Emory University, and Georgia State University. More than 150,000 degrees are earned each year through Georgia’s public and private higher education institutions, and the number of graduates in life sciences-related disciplines has increased by 14% over the last five years. 

R&D and Patent Development

Academic institutions playing an active role in research and patent development include:

  • The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) expands research lab capacity (in talent and technology). The state’s research universities work closely together, generating more than $2 billion a year in public and private R&D funding. Since its founding in 1990, GRA has become the model for university research collaboration and public-private investment. 
  • Emory University, UGA and Georgia Tech Research Corporation are lead patent assignees for life science patents from 2015-2021 with a focus on medical devices, drugs and pharmaceuticals, biochemistry and others. 

Life Sciences Tax Credit 

An attractive element of Georgia’s life sciences sector is the recently instated Life Science Tax Credit. In May 2021, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the legislation that adds for a bonus to the existing Job Tax Credit for the creation of new jobs dedicated to manufacturing pharmaceuticals, medicines, and medical devices and equipment. Since its creation, increased activity has been seen from companies looking to grow manufacturing opportunities in the state.

Georgia looks forward to welcoming South Korean life science companies to partake of its vibrant ecosystem.



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