St. Louis Public Radio News
6:03 pm
Wed May 20, 2009

State officials encourage biotech companies to locate in Missouri

St. Louis, MO –

Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Jon Hagler says biotechnology leaders should consider Missouri a prime location for business development. Hagler, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Linda Martinez spoke at the Bio International Convention in Atlanta Wednesday.

Hagler says he and other state officials told company owners to take into account Missouri's research institutions, existing biotech companies and extensive farmland.

"The diversity that exists in Missouri with respect to bio is a strength that people want to draw upon so I think that you'll see more and more companies drawing on that diversity and coming and locating their individual operations there."

Hagler says because of its entrepreneurial nature Missouri's biotechnology industry is thriving despite the recession.

"They want to feed on that environment and as long as we continue to develop our institutions and bring our consumers along I think we're going to see great benefits for our state."

Hagler says more than 2,000 biotech companies have created about 30,000 jobs in Missouri. Government and business leaders from 48 states and 60 countries are attending the conference.