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State & Local Tech-based ED RoundUp

June 28, 2002


A $30 million tax break tentatively approved by the state Board of Equalization will benefit the software industry but hurt other groups, the San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday. Software companies, which have lobbied for years with state tax officials on the tax code covering maintenance contacts, has wanted the tax on the contracts eliminated, the article states. Under existing law, entire contracts are taxed.


Plans are underway for the conversion of an 144,000-square-foot office building into the MidTown Technology Center, an urban campus that will house biomedical and information technology companies, according to the Plain Dealer. A $20 million project, the center will reserve more than 72,000 sq. ft. of office and lab space for situating up to 20 companies and 100 workers. Financing has not been arranged, but local officials anticipate the project will qualify for a $5 million federal Housing and Urban Development loan and a $1.25 million city grant. The entire MidTown campus is expected to cost an estimated $62 million.


The newly created Eastern Iowa Angel Investors group soon will take a first step toward accomplishing its mission, to help boost the growth of small companies, according to the Associated Press. In July, the group will consider such factors as market position and leadership as it looks for small companies in which to invest. Up to 100 businesses with investments of between $50,000 and $250,000 stand to benefit from the group's efforts.

New Hampshire

Five new U.S. Small Business Administration Business Information Centers are being established across the state via Combinet-NH, a public-private and nonprofit corporation. A recent story in the Union Leader stated that Combinet would give people access to thousands of resources through the Internet and hands-on technical assistance. Fleet Bank, SBA, the Knowledge Institute, Southern New Hampshire University, the state Department of Resources and Economic Development, the Office of State Planning, and regional economic development organizations are the major collaborators involved.


Governor Mark Warner recently signed an executive order that creates an advisory board for the Virginia Biotechnology Initiative and instructs the panel to prepare recommendations for making Virginia a leader in the biotech industry. The board will undertake the following initiatives:

  • Determine how Virginia's research universities, federal and state laboratories, biotechnology incubators, research parks, private industry, and other major resources can work together to help make Virginia a more attractive location for the biotechnology industry, and how these resources can boost development of the industry through technology transfer and commercialization of new ideas and discoveries.
  • Assess how a strategic initiative in biotechnology can help generate new jobs and investment specifically in rural and urban areas of the state.
  • Determine which new industries Virginia is best positioned to secure because of its workforce, location, and other advantages.
  • Examine workforce and training needs for a biotechnology workforce. And,
  • Evaluate Virginia's competitive position compared with other states and regions in terms of leadership in biotechnology.

The advisory board will be led by Brandon Price, chairman of the Virginia Biotechnology Association, and Michael Schewel, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. The Secretary of Technology will serve as vice chairman, and the secretaries of Natural Resources, Education, and Health and Human Resources also will participate. In addition, the board will include state lawmakers, state and local economic development officials, and private sector representatives.