The Business Council strongly supports this legislation which would create a life sciences technology development program and a GEN*NY*SIS zone program in New York State.
We believe that New York State should make significant and sustained investments in technology areas where our state has demonstrated academic strengths and a strong private sector technology base. Biotechnology is clearly one of these areas.
We have also argued that the state's technology investments need to be part of a structured process and we are pleased to see responsibility for this program placed within NYSTAR. NYSTAR now has a track record which has proven its ability to make funding decisions based upon the technological excellence of the proposals it has reviewed.
The design of the GEN*NY*SIS zones adds a significant new incentive which will help the state attract the job growth which will inevitably flow from technology breakthroughs. The GEN*NY*SIS zone tax incentives are comparable to those of the Empire Zones which have already demonstrated their ability to influence major investment decisions. The process for determining the location of GEN*NY*SIS zones in the eight designated county categories has even greater flexibility than the Empire Zone Program and will allow collaborating entities in the private, academic and government sectors to tailor their zones to meet local needs and desires.
The definitions of "life sciences" and "enabling sciences" have been carefully crafted to capture the diversity of sciences which will bring about technology advances in the major sectors of the bioindustry including those associated with medical devices and instrumentation, health care biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, environmental biotechnology and industrial biotechnology.
The GEN*NY*SIS proposal coupled with the Centers of Excellence program put forth by Governor Pataki and the technology initiatives advanced by Speaker Silver as part of the Assembly Jobs Program represents the most significant commitment New York State has ever proposed to fund world class research in our public and private universities. Differences in the programs exist but their focus and emphasis are very similar. This level of support is warranted, welcomed and wise.