Three things to know about Scripps Florida

Scripps Florida's lab in Jupter

Scripps Florida’s lab in Jupter

Richard King, chief operating officer of the Scripps Research Institute, is in town for the meeting of the Association of Independent Research Institutes in Palm Beach Gardens.

Some highlights from our conversation Monday:

  • Scripps Florida is acting as its own incubator. The startup companies that were central to Florida’s billion-dollar bet on biotech have been slow to materialize, in part because of a lack of wet lab space for new ventures. King says Scripps is renting space to spinoffs started by its scientists, although he declined to divulge the companies identities.
  • Scripps Florida is finishing up its best year ever for NIH grants. Scientists at the Jupiter lab have brought in $38 million in NIH awards through the first 11 months of the federal fiscal year, eclipsing last year’s record of $36 million, according to my analysis of federal data. Scripps Florida has bucked a trend of flat-lining NIH budgets. “We’ve done better than most, but we’re still affected by it,” King said.
  • The whales still aren’t biting. Scripps came to Palm Beach County to woo our deep pool of deep-pocketed philanthropists. But Palm Beachers’ big gifts continue to go out of state. King blamed the poor results in part on the revolving door at Scripps’ CEO office in recent years. “With our leadership changes, some of that got lost in the wash a little bit,” King said.

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