Study: NYS not fully tapping bioscience potential

May 11, 2012 Updated May 11, 2012 at 7:26 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury - Business First

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Study: NYS not fully tapping bioscience potential

May 11, 2012 Updated May 11, 2012 at 7:26 AM EDT


Growth within the state's bioscience sector requires an aggressive strategy - and more support from Albany, according to a new study released Thursday.

The Public Policy Institute, the research arm of The Business Council of New York State Inc., looked at the challenges in attracting and retaining private-sector jobs and companies in New York's bioscience sector.

According to the report, there's a particular need for the state and the Legislature to understand the industry more fully, from lab to market, when drafting and implementing policy. It also pointed to the importance of how to better support startups and early stage companies.

The institute made three recommendations that could make New York more competitive with other states:

• Create a governor's council to spearhead development and marketing of the state's bioscience industry.

• Establish a Small Business Innovation Research matching grant program for bioscience companies as well as a dedicated biosciences commercialization fund.

• Increase the amount of affordable incubator and lab space for startups and early-stage bioscience companies.

"New York has all of the components to be a frontrunner in bioscience," said Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of the Business Council. "However, without a focused approach, such potential will never be realized."

The report, Cultivating the Next Generation of Discoveries and Development in New York Bioscience, was created based on interviews with 30 industry experts as well as existing research. The report explores the opportunities and barriers facing companies in various stages of development.

The bioscience industry supports 250,000 jobs in New York, including 66,568 in the industry itself, together generating $5.3 billion wages and $309 in state income taxes. It also brings more than $1 billion in federal research dollars into the state.

Nathan Tinker, executive director of the New York Biotechnology Association, said: "This report provides a rationale and road map for policymakers in New York to invest in the biopharm sector. Extraordinary economic and health care benefits would result."

The report is available online at ppinys.org/.

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