By Amanda Shailendra, director, life sciences and corporate solutions at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)
Over the past decade, healthcare and computers accounted for more than half of all R&D spending1. According to R&D Magazine, companies will collectively spend more than $330 billion this year on research and development.
Just since January, there has been a surge of companies announcing new technology and R&D centers in Georgia. The Georgia Department of Economic Development has been working with many of these top global brands to help take their corporate innovation and technology growth to the next level by expanding or relocating to Georgia.
Last fall we welcomed athenahealth’s Southeast hub; announced Greenway Health’s Technology Innovation Center; discovered Google Fiber’s location to Atlanta; assisted Comcast’s broadband internet and research lab expansion; and celebrated Coca-Cola and Microsoft’s plans to locate innovation offices in the state.
These companies join others in Georgia, including the AT&T Foundry, Panasonic Automotive’s innovation center, General Motors IT Innovation, the Home Depot technology center, ThyssenKrupp’s innovation office and Ernst & Young and Deloitte technology centers.
Global companies are seeing Georgia’s technology community in a way that many Georgia-based businesses have seen it for a long time – a strong business culture that is competitive and cooperative, perfectly balanced between traditional and progressive.
The numbers speak for themselves – technology and life science companies have created more than 8, 500 jobs in Georgia over the past few years.
Businesses, small and large alike, are entering into the most disruptive period the industry has ever seen. Entrepreneurs and companies need the right resources and environment to keep their businesses relevant and their technology forward-thinking.
A strong network of companies
Georgia’s HIT sector is one of the strongest in the nation, with more than 225 companies, nine of which are on the HIT-100 list, employing approximately 30,000 people. Industry leaders such as AirWatch, Allscripts, Craneware, GE Healthcare, Greenway Medical Technologies, HealthPort, McKesson Technology Solutions, MedAssets, Navicure, Philips Healthcare, SIS and SoloHealth, among others, are finding it easy to grow in Georgia. In fact, HIT spending is expected to exceed $69 billion over the next six years 2.
Without question, today’s highly mobile world requires a highly mobile start-up scene. Access to the best and brightest minds in the industry is critical for leading HIT companies to stay ahead of the dynamic changes in this market.
Georgia’s thriving start-up scene includes incubators such as the Georgia BioBusiness Center, Atlanta Tech Village, Start-up Augusta, Hypepotamus, General Assembly, Creator’s Foundry in Savannah and ATDC, with programs planned to be offered in every corner across the state. These incubators are all available to early and late stage start-ups.
Within the Georgia Centers of Innovation, healthcare and life science companies in Georgia can directly connect to technical industry expertise, collaborative research and other critical partnerships.
Top companies such as McKesson, MedAssets, Inc., Greenway Health LLC, HealthPort Technologies, LLC, GE Healthcare and Brightree need access to a collaborative environment where industry leaders can be near collaborative creativity, where the thinkers, doers, mathematicians, coders and doctors are all at the table to discuss how to best solve future challenges – which is why these companies are located in Georgia.
Access to Top Talent
Georgia’s educational system is a talent pipeline. Four Georgia institutions are in the top 50 national undergraduate business programs and three institutions are in the top 50 for the nation’s top graduate business schools. These institutions are home to HIT thought leaders including Mark L. Braunstein, MD, Elena Karahanna, Ph.D. and David Cowan.
More than 2,000 IT bachelor’s degrees are awarded annually in Georgia and HIT academic programs are offered at 40+ technical schools, colleges and universities throughout the state, including customized training for HIT companies through Georgia Quick Start, the nation’s No. 1 workforce training program.
As we begin to see the internet of things and mHealth solutions serve critical needs in healthcare today, Georgia’s solid life science framework, which includes a solid network of healthcare and IT companies, a thriving entrepreneurial environment, and a growing talent pool will keep the disruption in HIT moving forward and onward.
We’re thrilled to be going again to HIMSS15, the annual conference for Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), where we will tout these resources, along with 10 other Georgia-based companies and organizations, to the thriving HIT sector.
We hope you’ll follow our #GAValueChain conversation on social media during #HIMSS15!