Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited Gainesville Wednesday morning to welcome two new businesses to the area.
Nanotherapeutics announced the creation of 150 jobs at the groundbreaking for its new Advanced Development and Manufacturing Center held at Copeland Park in Alachua. The company that began as a start-up housed in the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator, is a facility run by the University of Florida that helps bioscience companies grow.
The goal is to have the facility operational in March 2015.
The center will be funded by a $135 million contract awarded to Nanotherapeutics by the U.S. Department of Defense earlier this year. Under this contract, the company is responsible for providing all the services necessary to create a Medical Countermeasures Advanced Development and Manufacturing capability for the DOD.
Scott said the goal of the contract is to help develop medical countermeasure to protect and treat the military against chemical, biomedical, radiological and nuclear attacks along with the outbreak of infectious diseases.
Because of other companies in the area, Nanotherapeutics is able to hire very experienced workers from manufacturing jobs, according to President and CEO Dr. James Talton. He said in some cases, the company has to go out of state for the specialized manufacturing capabilities.
Following the groundbreaking, Scott attended the opening of 160over90, a Philadelphia-based branding agency. 160over90 represents the Miami Dolphins and the City of Boston, among many other clients, and plans to expand its work in the Southeast starting with its new location in Downtown Gainesville.
“We’ve got a really aggressive plan to expand the office quite a bit and to bring more clients in here,” said T.J. Aseltyne, the creative director of 160over90. “I think a big part of the plan would be to bring clients from all over the Southeast here and to have Gainesville be recognized as a major player as far as places where creative people can come and work.”
To date, the agency has brought 35 new jobs to Alachua County, Aselytne said.
Scott said these events stretch beyond new businesses and job creation.
“If you just stop to think about this,” he said, “that’s 100, almost 200, families that their lives have changed. They want jobs, a better education system, and so it’s great to have companies like this.”