Luring people with sunshine and beaches hasn't been the only thing on Florida's economic agenda over the past few years. Industries in Florida have continued to strengthen their foothold in aerospace, life sciences, manufacturing, homeland security, and information technology.
1. Aerospace and Aviation
Florida is home to two of the nine active spaceports in the United States: Cape Canaveral Spaceport and the Cecil Field Spaceport. And the state is the leader by far in active launch licenses held by private industry — 8 of the 17 licenses permitting a firm to send a rocket into space are authorized from sites in Florida. Virginia is second with four launch licenses.
On top of this, the aerospace and aviation industries in Florida boast more than 2,000 privately operated air and space flight-related firms, making it one of the largest marketplaces for aerospace and aviation technology of any state in the nation.
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2. Life Sciences
Florida's life sciences sector is also growing and innovating. The state ranked No. 1 in innovation ahead of longtime hot spots like California by Fast Company
. With more than 1,000 biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies, a foundation of more than 45,000 healthcare establishments, including 700 hospitals, Florida's life sciences industry is now seen as one of the nation's hub for innovation and research.
Innovations in biotech industries in Florida won't be manufactured abroad. The state is home to more than 18,200 manufacturers employing more than 317,000 workers, ranking it among the nation's top 10 states for manufacturing. The industry produces a wide variety of goods from parts for rocket ships to tacos.
Security is on everyone's mind these days. From cybersecurity to securing ports of entry, Florida's defense and homeland security industry remains at the top of its game. Twenty military installations, three unified combatant commands, and nearly all of the nation’s leading contractors are located in Florida.
5. Information Technology
And to a large degree greater security will come from greater information. Since the birth of the personal computer in Boca Raton, Florida's information technology industry has grown and diversified into photonics, mobile technologies, communications equipment, modeling and simulation, and digital media. Florida's digital media industry comprises nearly 4,200 companies, employing nearly 11,000 people, developing some of the best video games, mobile applications, and theme park applications in the world.
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