Target Industries

Florida's industry assets are unmatched for scale and scope

Competitive costs, a large talent pool, comprehensive infrastructure, global connectivity and a huge market have supported the growth of a robust economy, with particular strength in these key industries:

  • Florida is the gateway to space, air traffic hub of the Americas, a center for flight training and home to leading aircraft and component manufacturers. As a result, Florida has a rich supply chain and talent pool benefiting industry businesses. Boeing, Embraer, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky and others have significant operations here.

    • Aviation: Florida is the birthplace of commercial aviation and the air transport hub of the Western Hemisphere. Florida ranks No. 1 among states for air transportation and flight training businesses and is also home to the No. 1 U.S. airport for international air cargo.
    • Aerospace: Florida is a premier aerospace and space location. Our 470+ industry companies excel in areas from aircraft parts and assembly to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to missiles. Florida also offers tremendous space launch assets.
  • Floridians understand the link between sustainability and the economy. The state provides unmatched natural resources for the development of renewable energy, from solar, biomass and fuel cells to support technologies. Florida is home to industry innovators, from Mitsubishi Hitachi to Siemens Energy to Saft.

    • Energy: Florida businesses include solar technology companies, biofuel producers, and battery and fuel cell manufacturers. The depth and breadth of the industry base provides the talent and suppliers these companies need.
    • Efficiency: Florida companies are working to improve the energy efficiency of all types of products, from buildings to lighting to electronics.
  • This industry is comprised of innovative companies developing products and solutions to support our military and protect civilians from terrorist attacks and other security threats. Florida's high-tech economy, impressive military assets and specially trained workforce provide the expertise needed to compete in this rapidly evolving industry.

    • Defense: Florida proudly hosts 20 major military installations, three unified combatant commands and nearly all of the nation’s leading contractors. Companies can tap into the tremendous industry base and large pool of skilled workers and veterans to grow their businesses.
    • Homeland security: Florida’s strengths in homeland security’s diverse components – including infotech, photonics, simulation and training, and biotech – make it a supportive location for companies working to secure our ports, detect threats and enhance cybersecurity.
  • A significant number of high-tech companies are partnering with Florida’s university laboratories and applied research centers to design, build, test and produce the technologies of tomorrow – including important innovations in advanced materials, marine-based biotech and nanoscience. In fact, the NanoScience Technology Center at the University of Central Florida is an international leader in this growing field.

  • Florida’s diversified economic structure makes it a global player in providing high value-added services in finance, insurance, architecture, accounting, consulting, engineering and more. Florida’s proximity to and cultural connections with Latin America have also helped make it an international banking center with booming international trade and a leading location for shared services. Florida is home to 126,000 financial and professional services firms and their 864,000 employees.

    • Financial services: Florida excels in finance, as evidenced by the presence of 200 commercial banks with $124 billion in assets, and a growing private equity cluster. Our attractive tax structure and skilled workforce are just two reasons behind Florida’s string of recent financial services announcements.
    • Florida’s 93,000+ professional services companies span the state and include major players in legal services, accounting, consulting, architecture, engineering, R&D and related fields.
  • Florida has been at the forefront of technology innovation since the birth of the IBM PC in Boca Raton. The state's industry strengths are diverse, ranging from photonics, mobile technologies and communications equipment to modeling and simulation and beyond.

    • Modeling, simulation and training (MST): Florida is home to perhaps the world’s largest modeling, simulation and training clusters, with over 300 companies and 22,500 professionals. Florida businesses create cutting-edge applications for the defense, medical, entertainment, education and other sectors.
    • Photonics/optics: Florida’s photonics cluster is among the largest in the United States, with some 270 companies employing nearly 5,800 professionals focused on the design, development, manufacturing, testing and integration of photonics and related systems.
    • Software and computer systems design: Florida has one of the nation’s largest software and computer systems industries, with 12,600 firms employing 80,000-plus industry professionals. Major areas of growth include gaming, medical, finance and defense/homeland security.
    • Microelectronics and computer products: The state's sector includes 700 companies and 32,000 employees and produces a broad spectrum of equipment, from ubiquitous microprocessors and circuit boards to nanodevices and other technologies of the future.
    • Digital media: Florida's creative and tech industries team up in digital media to develop video games, mobile applications and other related technologies. There are approximately 4,200 digital media companies in Florida with nearly 11,000 employees.
    • Telecommunications: Florida is the internet's gateway to Latin America and Europe. Our telecom industry includes 6,800-plus firms and 93,000 workers with a high concentration in web portal and internet-related development, as well as mobile technologies and equipment.
  • After years of aggressive, coordinated effort, Florida has firmly established itself as a true hub for life sciences. Today, Florida is home to some of the nation's most highly regarded research centers; over 1,000 biotech, pharmaceutical and medical devices companies; and more than 45,000 health care establishments, including 700-plus hospitals. Many industry leaders are located here, including Actavis, Arthrex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Noven and SteriPack.

    • Biotechnology: Florida has more than 250 biotech companies and world-renowned R&D institutes specializing in therapeutics, diagnostics, industrial/agricultural biotech and other areas. Florida has the science, talent and support structure biotech companies need to succeed.
    • Pharmaceutical manufacturing: The state's 200-plus pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies specialize in developing and manufacturing novel treatments, generics, nutraceuticals and OTC drugs. They employ nearly 4,500 researchers, engineers, technicians and other workers.
    • Health care: Florida has one of the most sophisticated health care systems in the country. Our hospitals and 726,000-plus health care workers engage in a broad range of research and clinical trials, with strength in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Florida's advanced manufacturing industries are diverse and include sectors producing intermediate and finished products ranging from plastics to tortillas to motor vehicles. Thanks in part to its leading business climate, workforce and trade and transportation infrastructure, Florida ranks among the nation’s top 10 states for manufacturing and is home to more than 18,200 manufacturers employing more than 317,000 workers. These strong industry assets can help manufacturing businesses ramp up fast in Florida.

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