Bioscience, Life Science & Health IT

Fulton County is a robust, growing Bioscience, Life Science, Health IT industry. The local industry is comprised of a mix of companies based on size and business sectors. There are more than 1,514 companies representing a mix of home-grown businesses focusing on clinical trials and medical devices; vaccines being researched at the Centers for Disease Control located in the metro area; and multinational companies offering information technology and other products. Currently, there are an estimated 17,000 employees generating $1.2 billion annually in sales revenue in metro Atlanta.

The local industry is supported by an ecosystem encompassing local universities and research centers, large corporations, and small-to-mid size companies. A mix of four colleges and university have substantial bioscience and health IT centers, including the nationally renowned Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering founded as a collaboration project between Georgia Tech and Emory.

Labor Force

Of Fulton County’s 450,000 person labor force, approximately 17,000 people are employed by the county’s 477 bioscience and health IT businesses. The county’s population is educated with 48.6% of the population holding at least a bachelor’s degree and about 19% holding a graduate degree or higher.

Educational Programs

Atlanta is second in growth for in biological/biomedical science degrees awarded with top-tier universities feeding into Atlanta’s bioscience and health IT sectors.

  • The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
    • Collaborative project between Georgia Tech and Emory
    • Ranked 2nd in the United States
    • Houses the Georgia Tech-Emory Center for Regenerative Medicine
  • Emory University and Healthcare Facilities
    • Possesses leading biomedical research centers such as the National Cancer Institute-designated Winship Cancer Institute, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Emory Vaccine Center.
    • Through Emory’s research and patenting, 51 biotech companies have been created.
    • Emory’s Statistics (2015-2016)
      • Emory ranked #21 nationally among undergraduate universities (*U.S. News Rankings)
      • Graduate Program Rankings:
        • #3 Physician’s Assistant Program
        • #7 Public Health
        • #8 Nursing
        • #11 Clinical Psychology
        • #23 Best Medical Schools (Research), #29 Best Medical Schools (Primary Care), #30 Biology
      • Received 572.4 billion in research grants (2015)
  • Georgia Tech
    • Ranked 3rd nationally in Biomedical Engineering (*U.S. News and Rankings, 2015)
    • Center for Innovative Cardiovascular Technologies
      • Works with Emory, Saint Joseph’s Research Research Institute, and Healthcare of Atlanta on projects targeting minimally invasive cardiac therapies
    • Petit Institute of Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB)
      • Headquarters for the Georgia Tech and Emory Center for Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Engineering Center, and IBB Industry Partners Program
    • Center for Pharmaceutical Development
      • Works to solve challenges in the pharmaceutical industry through more selective and rigorous manufacturing processes, more stable formations, and better characterized and consistent products
    • Center for Drug Design, Development, and Delivery
      • Collaborates with industry partners to address manufacturing formulation, analytical challenges, and innovative delivery strategies
    • Institute of Integrative BioSystems
      • Specializes in research involving systems biology, computational biology, and bioinformatics
    • Healthcare@EI2
      • Works with the State of Georgia and industry partners to further research and deployment of healthcare information technologies
    • Nanotechnology Research Center
      • Utilizes nanotechnology and capabilities to address health problems
  • Georgia State University
    • Neuroscience Institute
      • Conducts interdisciplinary research in biology, chemistry, psychology, physics, computer science, and mathematics and statistics to study the workings of the brain
    • Viral Immune Center
      • Conducts research on viral entities that could affect the central nervous system, especially those that can cross between animals and humans
    • Center for Biotechnology and Drug Design
      • Promotes research in three areas; drug design/synthesis, protein engineering, and vaccines/diagnosis
  • Morehouse School of Medicine
    • Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI)
    • Offers a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences (Ph.D.), Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), Master of Science in Clinical Research (M.S.C.R.), Master of Science in Biomedical Research (M.S.B.R.), and Master of Science in Biomedical Technology (M.S.B.T.)
  • Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI)
    • An inter-institutional magnet that concentrates basic, translational and clinical investigators, community clinicians, professional societies and industry collaborators in dynamic clinical and translational research projects


  • Sales tax exemptions provided for:
    • Tangible property and services to a nonprofit volunteer health clinic primarily treating patients with incomes below 200% of the poverty level
    • Certain computer equipment to a high-technology companies when such sales exceed $15 million in a calendar year
    • All mobility enhancing equipment prescribed by a physician
  • Job Tax Credit
    • The State of Georgia provides a Job Tax Credit for any business or headquarters of any such business engaged in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, broadcasting, tourism, or research and development industries, but does not include retail businesses. Fulton County ranks as a Tier 3 designation, which allows for a $1,750 Job Tax Credit per 15 jobs created.

Workforce Development Programs

  • Georgia Innovation Crescent
    • A coalition, to which Fulton county is a member, that focuses on life science and economic development through providing specialized education, certification, and training programs to ensure quality labor for highly-regulated bioscience clinical, research, and manufacturing facilities
  • Georgia’s QuickStart Program
    • Working with the Technical College System of Georgia, QuickStart provides comprehensive workforce training services from pre-employment assessment to help companies choose the best qualified employees through customized, job-specific training
    • Over the last 50 years, Quickstart has trained over 877,521 employees in 6,065 projects for industry-leading companies including Quintiles, Transnational, Kimberly-Clark, Merial, AngioDynamics, Pharma Tech, and Dendreon
  • Research and Development Tax Credit
    • Earned through a portion of a company’s increase in R&D spending for up to 50% of net Georgia income tax liability which can be carried forward up to 10 years if unused
    • Excess R&D tax credits can be used against state payroll withholding


  • The U.S. Center for Disease Control, the American Red Cross, and American Cancer Society (Headquarters): are all located in Fulton County
  • Atlanta Technology Development Center (ATDC)
    • Leading technology start-up development center
    • Has assisted more than 120 companies who have been financed with over 1 billion dollars since 1980
    • 22,000 of wet-lab and office space
  • Technology Enterprise Park (TEP)
    • Joint venture owned by Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures, a Georgia Tech affiliate, and the University Financing Foundation
    • 11-acre complex offering advanced bench and office space in four mid-rise, multi-tenant buildings
  • Georgia BioScience Commercialization Center
    • This facility acts as an all-inclusive facility providing entrepreneurs with expert consultation from bioscience executives at no charge
    • The consultants’ backgrounds range from marketing to finance to CEO’s of existing companies to offer holistic, thorough problem-solving advice
  • Saint Joseph’s Translational Research Institute
    • Non-profit research institution that possess the resources of both an academic institution and a commercial contract research organization
    • Assists businesses in tackling problems with innovative, clinical solutions
  • Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI)
    • Independent non-profit offering full-service product development organization helps new product teams enhance their product development, shorten time to market, and achieve significant cost savings throughout the process
  • Emory Vaccine Center
    • Conducts fundamental and clinical research to develop effective vaccines against infectious diseases.
  • National B Virus Resource Center
    • 24/7 diagnostic testing, educational resources, and energy information center funded by the National Institutes of Health

Other Resources

  • iResearchGeorgia
    • free, public, and searchable database of biomedical expertise at Georgia’s public and private research universities
    • Provides profiles, published papers, National Institutes of Health grant abstracts and patent information of 800 scientific leaders across the state

Biotech and Health IT Accolades in Fulton County

  • McKesson Technology Solutions
    • 70,400 employees; $3.41 billion in yearly revenue
  • Kimberly-Clark
    • 43,000 employees; $4.5 billion in yearly revenue
  • CIBA Vision
    • 5,900 employees; $222.351 million in yearly revenue
  • Other Prominent and Leading Life Science Businesses in Fulton County:
    • Allscripts
    • Dendreon
    • Ethicon
    • GE Healthcare
    • Greenway Health
    • Immucor
    • Philips Healthcare

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about developments in Fulton County!
Bioscience, Life Science, & Health IT - Fulton County, GA