For Release — Thursday, December 14, 2000
BUSINESS COUNCIL STATEMENT ON THE SENATE MAJORITY'S PROPOSAL
TO INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND JOB CREATION IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
Today Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and his colleagues in the Senate Majority proposed a farsighted investment in the life sciences in New York. We think this is a great idea.
The proposed programs would pay intellectual, technological, and economic dividends for generations. They would enrich academic institutions, biotechnology businesses, our economy, and the lives of all New Yorkers.
Experts in research and development, technology, and the new economy say the life sciences will generate important advances for decades. Life-sciences R&D can lead to new drugs and methods of drug discovery, new understanding of disease, and new genetic engineering techniques that can improve plants' disease resistance and nutritional value.
The Senate Majority's idea is both good and essential-because other states are already investing heavily in this area. New York must also invest to remain competitive with other states that also have strong universities, committed business leaders, and research institutions eager to collaborate. What's more, federal investments in these areas are increasing significantly. Many states are making investments like the one proposed today to better compete for that money. For example:
- California Governor Gray Davis last week announced creation of three major research institutions dedicated to nanotechnology, biotechnology, and telecommunications and computing. The effort will be supported by $300 million in new state funds over four years, with more than twice that amount being contributed by corporate participants.
- Illinois's Governor George Ryan has developed a program called "VentureTech" which is a five-year, $1.9 billion comprehensive strategy for investing state resources in education and advanced research and development, health sciences, and biotechnology, as well as cutting-edge information technology programs.
- Michigan has invested its entire share of tobacco-settlement funds in a new "Michigan Life Sciences Corridor Fund" to be driven by the state's two major research universities, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
In each case, the political and business leadership has referred specifically to the need to compete with other states, intellectually and economically, for the opportunities that lie in the life sciences. Clearly there is a substantial pot of money to be chased, and the race is on.
Our world-class private and public universities and research institutions will make New York a strong competitor in the life sciences. They are willing to collaborate, and so is business. We salute Senator Bruno for this creative and aggressive proposal to help New York compete and grow in this area.