top of page

ACC Designated as First Gold Level BioReady County in Georgia

Athens-Clarke County has been designated as a gold level BioReady® Community by the state’s leading life sciences membership organization, Georgia Bio. With the designation, Athens-Clarke County became the first county in Georgia to receive this certification. To receive this distinction, communities must meet certain criteria and be able to support the growing biotech industry. This distinctive honor was presented to the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government on March 28, 2024.

Georgia Bio launched the BioReady® Community program in Georgia with the support of the non-profit’s partners at MassBio, a global life sciences and healthcare organization dedicated to advancing Massachusetts’ position in the life sciences. With a goal of helping local communities connect with leading life sciences industry representatives, Georgia Bio replicated the MassBio rating system program to determine a municipality’s readiness to host biotechnology facilities based on the community’s zoning practices and infrastructure capacity. 

"Given our recent efforts with private and public partners alike, and our firm belief that life science will remain a cornerstone of our local economy, we are delighted at this designation," said Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz.

As the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization, Georgia Bio works to improve access to innovative technologies and grow Georgia’s life sciences economy. 

The BioReady® rating system rates communities in three tiers from Bronze to Silver to Gold. Through these BioReady® ratings, Georgia Bio seeks to provide cities and towns a platform to effectively tell their stories to the biotechnology industry, ultimately helping real estate developers and biotechnology companies find the most favorable destinations to locate.

"The life sciences sector in Georgia continues to grow at a rapid pace, which means the need for BioReady® sites is continually increasing, and I am proud of the work that Athens-Clarke County has put in to get here," said Maria Thacker-Goethe, President and CEO of Georgia Bio. "This news could not be timelier as Meissner Corp., a life sciences organization that specializes in microfiltration and pharmaceutical products, recently announced plans to build a $250 million campus in Athens-Clarke County. The BioReady program allows municipalities like Athens-Clarke County to showcase biotech-zoned science parks, streamline permitting, build a robust infrastructure, and identify biotech-friendly sites more effectively, making them an easy choice for industry." 

Learn more on the Georgia Bio’s BioReady Communities website at

The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov) Economic Development Department – Invest Athens serves as the primary point of contact for industries, large commercial developments, site location consultants, and state economic development organizations interested in developing, expanding, or locating new or expanded businesses in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. For more information, visit

About Georgia Bio

Georgia Bio (GaBio) is the state’s most impactful life sciences membership organization, advocating for the sector and its diverse innovation pipeline. For more than 30 years, GaBio has served its members by supporting companies of all sizes, from early-stage innovators and startups to established industry leaders in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology. GaBio also works closely with universities, academic and research institutions, the investment community, and other critical partners that promote this vibrant sector. GaBio works to shape public policy, improve access to breakthrough technologies, educate lawmakers, provide member programs, strengthens the workforce pipeline, and advance equity within our ecosystem by championing innovative solutions for some of the most pressing challenges of our times. For more information, visit

Pictured L-R: Kenshundria Allen (ACCGov Economic Development Department), Ryan Thornton (ACCGov Economic Development Department), Jason Jones (ACCGov Economic Development Department), Ilka McConnell (ACCGov Economic Development Department), Myung Cogan (ACCGov Economic Development Department), and Maria Thacker Goethe (Georgia Bio)

51 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page