My team at GDEcD is helping Georgia move in the 21st century by focusing intently on a few of the state’s strategic industries: Health Sciences, Advanced Technology, and Digital Media. We believe this focus is absolutely critical to the emerging healthcare and technology issues our state and nation face. Georgia has established initiatives from education and research to business development programs that will allow the state to expand its competitive advantage in all three sectors.
Though each industry is distinct, they complement each other in the services each provides. As the need for technological networks increases, the industries become an interdependent convergent framework. The state’s health science sector is built on its strong research in AIDS, diabetes, and oncology. Georgia’s cluster of technology companies span several sectors – FirstData, NCR, and TSYS. Digital media has an impressive technology infrastructure in place, with emerging media industries such as video game development, animation and interactive entertainment booming all across the state.
The state’s initiative to support these viable industries through tax credits and private and public collaborations is important to sustainable markets and innovation. The Georgia tax credit most often used by the sectors my team works with is the Quality Jobs Tax Credit, which allows companies to earn up to $5000 per job for creating 50 jobs that pay 110 percent of the county’s average wage. Digital media companies can benefit from the state’s Georgia Entertainment Industry Tax Credit: Interactive and video game development studios can take advantage of the tax credit if they meet a $500,000 threshold for expenditures on one or more projects.
Carol Henderson is the director of Life Science, Healthcare, Advanced Communications, New Media, R&D and IT team for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD).. She leads the team’s work to identify and recruit innovation-based companies to the state and assist existing strategic industry-based businesses.