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June 22, 2001

Senate approves Gen*NY*sis, its biotechnology R&D program

The Senate has unanimously approved its Gen*NY*sis proposal, which would create a life-sciences technology development program and a new economic-development zone in New York.

The bill, the centerpiece of the Senate's economic development program, passed June 18 as the Senate moved toward a long-planned cessation of operations at the end of last week.

Agreement on a state budget remained remote. Lawmakers extended funding for state programs at last year's levels through July 15.

Gen*NY*sis calls for a $500 million combined public and private investment in biotechnology R&D at universities, corporate R&D labs, and other research institutions.

The Senate plan would also create eight categories of "Gen*NY*sis zones," in which a variety of incentives would be offered to companies that create new jobs in biotechnology.

The Business Council strongly supports this proposal.

"For stimulating growth and ensuring a prosperous future for New York, S.1A is A-one in our book," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh.

Both Governor George Pataki and the state Assembly have also proposed big investments in high-tech R&D. The Governor has proposed investing $283 million in state funds over the next five years to develop high-technology and biotechnology "centers of excellence" at state university campuses in Albany, Buffalo and Rochester. In its budget resolution, the Assembly proposed investing $470 million in high-technology development and university-industry partnerships.

The Business Council is urging a five-year, $1 billion state investment in R&D..