research and development

Research & Development

Georgia has become a true innovation hub, with a high concentration of companies that invest heavily in R&D and more corporate innovators choosing Georgia all the time. Georgia’s status as a center of innovation is fueled by a highly skilled workforce, research being done in universities and businesses, and the business friendly climate.

Give your R&D efforts the network effect

Corporate innovation centers, research universities, investors, start-up companies – these are the native elements of a successful R&D ecosystem. Georgia’s ecosystem is one of the state’s greatest strengths.

Tech Square is “one of the nation’s leading destinations for corporate research centers,” according to the Harvard Business Review. The 8-block area in Midtown Atlanta is home to hundreds of startups – plus dozens of innovation labs operated by international brands including Panasonic, Delta Air Lines and Home Depot. Joining them in Tech Square in 2019 is CODA, a 21-story building with 645,000 sq. ft. of Class-T (tech) office space and 80,000 sq. ft. of high-performance computing space.

Research hubs are developing across the state. One is growing from the portfolio of public and private cybersecurity resources in Augusta, including NSA-Georgia, Unisys and in 2020 the U.S. Army Cyber Command. The $100 million Georgia Cyber Center is the single largest investment in a cybersecurity facility by a state government to date, strengthening Georgia’s position as a national leader in cybersecurity. The Cyber Center’s first building opened in July 2018.

The state’s research universities – which generate more than $2 billion a year in public and private R&D funding – work closely together through the Georgia Research Alliance, a national model for university research collaboration. Industry partnerships are an important part of the state’s research success. Georgia’s research universities are home to renowned centers of scientific exploration that attract experts from around the world. Some examples:

  • The world’s largest university-based enterprise for vaccine exploration (Emory Vaccine Center)
  • 1,600 scientists and engineers working across 8 labs and 15 field offices (Georgia Tech Research Institute) 
  • 4 federally designated centers making new discoveries in glycoscience across the state (University of Georgia’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center)


Innovation rarely happens in a vacuum … but it thrives in an ecosystem.
The talent to take your business to the top

Your business is built on people. Fortunately, Georgia’s investment in its thinkers and doers enables your company to recruit the talent you need to compete.  

Around 4,700 engineers graduate from Georgia universities each year. All of the Georgia Tech engineering programs rank in the Top 5 nationwide. Industrial Engineering is No. 1 – and aerospace, chemical, mechanical and civil engineering rank No. 2. 

Mercer University, plus new engineering programs at University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University and Georgia Southern University, increase access to an engineering education statewide, along with more degree concentrations. 

Georgia is also a magnet for the nation’s engineers: Over 14,000 engineers in the state graduated from the other 9 engineering schools in the U.S. News “Top 10” list. That includes more than 1,000 engineers each from the top 3 of MIT, Stanford and UC-Berkeley. They’re here in Georgia.

To keep the workforce current, Georgia invests in lifelong learning through the nation’s top-performing workforce training program, Georgia Quick Start. For qualifying economic development projects, Quick Start designs and delivers training to employees of companies creating new jobs in Georgia — at no cost to the company.

What that means for you: You’ll be able to hire R&D professionals and support staff who are fully prepared to contribute to your company’s innovation. 

National Ranking Georgia Tech Undergraduate Engineering Programs
#1 Industrial/Manufacturing
#2 Aerospace
#2 Chemical
#2 Civil
#2 Mechanical
#3 Biomedical
#3 Biomaterials
#4 Environmental
#4 Electrical
#5 Computer Engineering

R&D is powered by smart people with big ideas. You’ll find them here.

Atlanta Tech Village
We’re ready to bet on your bright ideas 

Considering a boost in your research and development investment? Georgia is the place to do it. Your company could generate tax credits that can offset state income tax and even payroll withholding simply by investing in R&D in Georgia. 

Georgia's R&D tax credit may be earned by any Georgia company within a strategic industry that has qualified research spending – whether it’s an established company or a brand-new start up. 

The R&D tax credit equals 10 of a company’s qualified R&D expenditures in Georgia, above a base amount. If your credits exceed your corporate tax liability, the excess can be applied to your payroll withholding liability or carried forward for up to 10 years.  According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, the R&D tax credit saved Georgia companies $116 million in taxes from 2011 to 2014. 

Read more about Georgia’s R&D tax credit and other pro-business tax incentives 

Georgia’s R&D tax credit means innovation is good for your bottom line.
Centers of Innovation are here to help spark creativity

Aerospace. Energy technology. Information technology. Logistics. Manufacturing. 

These five industries are the building blocks of global competition – so they’re always ripe for innovation. Georgia’s Centers of Innovation serve as a go-to innovation hub for technical expertise, research collaborations and industry connections in each of these five key areas. Each year, the Georgia Centers of Innovation help 1,500 customers accelerate product development, access advanced technologies and tap into new markets. These add up to a competitive advantage that gives Georgia companies a global edge.

Explore how each Center of Innovation is working hard for Georgia companies and Georgia consumers