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For Release — eptember 28, 2011

Public Policy Institute study shows the biopharmaceutical sector
should be a growth engine for New York's economy


HEMPSTEAD — Biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing holds great promise for economic growth in New York. If properly developed and supported this sector could be the engine driving an economic resurgence in New York. That is the finding of a study by the Public Policy Institute (PPI), the research arm of The Business Council of New York State, entitled New York Must Step Up Its Game: The Global Struggle for Biopharmaceutical Jobs. This report looks at high-paying jobs emanating from biopharmaceutical clusters and the high multiplier potential that these jobs have on the economy.

This report lays down a challenge to public and private sector leaders, labor as well as business, academic health centers focused on research, as well as educators, to take the steps needed to expand New York's reach in this sector.

It establishes biopharmaceutical research and the attending job potential locked inside those clusters, as one of New York's best long-term growth strategies.

“Developing the biopharmaceutical industry in New York — which includes partnering with higher education institutions, such as Hofstra University — will create high-paying jobs and help prevent our younger population from leaving the state to find work,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president and CEO of The Business Council. “We need to improve the business climate in the Empire State in order to attract investment and grow this extremely valuable sector.”

This sector also provides high paying jobs. Nationally, the average pay for a biopharmaceutical employee in 2009 was $102,341. In New York State, the corresponding wage in this sector was $72,486.
The report also looks at the slow growth of this sector in New York compared to other industrial states as well as China and India. It provides a road map for what New York needs to do to utilize this opportunity. PPI's report shows that this is a key moment in time when New York's leaders must make growth of this sector a priority because we are in a global competition for these jobs.

Stuart Rabinowitz, President of Hofstra University, said: “At Hofstra, we believe that scientific research that contributes to economic development is an essential part of our mission. Our efforts - from this School of Medicine and our Ph.D program in molecular medicine to our new School of Engineering and Applied Science - are focused on creating programs that spur this type of research and train the next generation of scientist/entrepreneurs who will turn their discoveries into products and processes that improve people's lives.”

Kevin Tracey, MD, President and CEO of the Feinstein Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, said: “The discoveries originating at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have led to the creation of 11 start-up companies pursuing the clinical development of devices to help patients with spinal cord injuries and inflammatory diseases, as well as drugs to treat such conditions as asthma, lupus, cancer and diabetes. However, only two of those companies are based here in New York. New York State can spur economic development by helping start-up companies get access to investment capital needed to start up new companies. I'm optimistic that science can drive the formation of many new entities.”

Senator Jack Martins said: “The creation of skilled jobs will go a long way toward improving our economy on Long Island. The biopharmaceutical industry has the potential to create high paying jobs for our residents. It's important that we do our part on the state level to promote the creation of skilled jobs and economic growth on Long Island. We need high tech firms to invest in our economy. It will decrease our unemployment rate and increase our tax base.”

Dr. Nathan Tinker, Executive Director of the New York Biotechnology Association, said: “New York State has a tremendous opportunity to become an international leader in the biopharm sector. This report shows step by step how state leaders can take advantage of that opportunity for both scientific and economic benefit. These are all investments that would more than pay for themselves in the long run. These are investments that future generations will regard as well-conceived and wise.”

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The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. is a research and educational organization whose purpose is to formulate and promote public policies that will restore New York's economic competitiveness. The Institute accomplishes this mission by conducting timely, in-depth research addressing key state policy issues. Founded in 1981 and affiliated with The Business Council of New York State, Inc., The Institute is a non-partisan, tax-exempt, 501 (c) (3).