Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
"97% of our natural gas needs are met from North America... Oklahoma has a lot of it and I think Oklahoma City can increasingly be seen as the center of the universe for America's onshore natural gas industry."
- Aubrey McClendon, Chairman and CEO, Chesapeake Energy Corporation
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a growth of more than 28% in the U.S. biotech industry by 2014, and Greater Oklahoma City is positioned to be a major player in facilitating that growth. Undeniably, one of the most significant factors in this area's biotech boom is the powerful symbiotic relationship between entrepreneurs, clinical researchers, academic investigators, and public and private investors.
In recent years, some of the most significant medical advances and life-saving medicines have been developed in labs and facilities based in Greater Oklahoma City. Researchers at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), one of the most respected independent medical research institutes nationwide, led the discovery of the genetic mechanism responsible for susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease, as well as two other major medical breakthroughs - a diagnostic blood test for rheumatoid arthritis and a drug to combat septicemia, which is now used in ICUs worldwide. OMRF is currently constructing a new eight-story research tower that will add 186,000 square feet of lab and office space, and will be topped by 24 helix-shaped wind turbines to help power its labs.
In addition to OMRF, Greater Oklahoma City is home to The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) and the Presbyterian Health Foundation (PHF) - equally innovative and leading organizations in the biotech industry in addition to being in the midst of their own construction booms. PHF supports a variety of health-related activities, including recruitment of research scientists and provision of research and equipment grants. They provide more than 700,000 square feet of lab and office space to more than 50 companies and agencies, accomodating the research and development process, then helping to develop and expedite technological advances from lab to market.
OUHSC, comprised of seven medical schools, has benefited from PHF's efforts, with more than $65 million in grants for medical research. In turn, the 30 institutions on its campus employ more than 15,000 people with a combined general revenue of more than $3.5 billion per year, and NIH funding over $53 million. OU is also currently constructing the $120 million OU Cancer Institute, a National Cancer Institute - designated comprehensive cancer center. The center will bring together clinical programs, oncology services and even proton therapy.
With a world-class caliber of research facilities and wet lab space, abundant funding opportunities and collaborative efforts by legislators to enhance progress, you could say Greater Oklahoma City has biotechnology down to a science. To learn more about biotechnology in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma Bioscience Association.
To learn more about the above studies, contact: