Biotech in Portland: Owning up to reality
From today's Oregonian: OHSU's waterfront vision: 2 million square foot campus: "Making room for biotechnology industries, for years an anchor of OHSU's planning, has faded."
Someone has finally admitted it. Portland is not and most likely will never be a major biotech hub. While the vision may have been grand, the reality has simply never really caught up.
From a 2003 article in the Daily Journal of Commerce:
As Seattle gears up to create a biotech hub at South Lake Union, the city of Portland is laying the foundation for what it hopes will be a successful biotech public/private partnership...The city....sees South Waterfront as an opportunity to entice biotech firms from California to Switzerland....Don Mazziotti, executive director of Portland Development Commission, said the city is attempting to recruit more than a dozen biotech firms. The city is hoping the development will create 10,000 jobs.
The biggest news in this space is that ProteoGenix Inc., a Portland biotech startup spun out of the pediatrics department at Oregon Health & Science University, recently secured $20 million in venture capital -- and I believe is planning to move out of the city of Portland.
The PDC continues to tout biosciences as a key industry cluster in Portland on its website.
Joseph Cortright: "This notion that you lure biotech to your community to save its economy is laughable. This is a bad-idea virus that has swept through governors, mayors and economic development officials." Mr. Cortright is a Portland economist who has co-authored a report on the subject.