Report: NY a Successful Bioscience State, but More Work Remains

By any measure, New York is one of the country’s top states for medical research and development: In FY11, the state attracted more than $2 billion across 4,606 awards from the National Institutes of Health. Only California and Massachusetts were better in either category. With robust academic research (not to mention a significant presence of independent research institutes, like Research!America members Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Masonic Medical Research Laboratory) and NYC-based pharmaceutical giants Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, bioscience pays off for New York and its residents: According to a new report, the industry directly and indirectly supported 250,000 jobs across the state and generated $309 million in state taxes and more than $5.63 billion in personal wages.

But that report — “Cultivating the Next Generation of Discoveries and Development in New York Bioscience,” by The Public Policy Institute of New York State — also notes that New York can do more to support the industry. And where it draws inspiration from is no surprise: California and Massachusetts.

The report cites the efforts of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative; Governor Deval Patrick (D) not only funded the initiative with $1 billion over 10 years, but also provided a five-point guidance plan. The report says New York would stand to benefit from such guidance. There’s also a comparison chart that shows how each state helps science companies from startup through maturity.

California is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, and the report states that the New York would benefit from more formally bringing together scientists and entrepreneurs.

In all, the report includes three policy and program initiatives to ensure continued success of New York’s bioscience sector:

  • Establish a “Governor’s Council” to help facilitate communication between the state and industry and to market the state’s life sciences capabilities to audiences far and wide;
  • Designate state funding specifically for bioscience companies; the report offers matching funds for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants and enacting legislation to create a Biosciences Commercialization Fund;
  • Aiding startups and young companies by increasing the amount of affordable incubator and lab space.

The report was produced in May and released earlier in the week.

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