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WA Life Sciences Community Steps up to Help Save Grant Fund

April 08, 2014

Pointing to the growth potential in jobs and health within the life sciences industry sector, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a $20 million cut in funding to the nine-year-old Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF), allowing the fund to honor existing commitments and proceed with the 2013-14 Proof of Concept grant program and Entrepreneur Mentoring grant program. The state’s budget director David Schumacher said the sheer volume of letters from biotech companies in support of saving the fund carried weight in the governor’s decision, reports The Olympian.

LSDF invests monies from the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement in R&D that demonstrates the strongest potential for delivering health and economic returns to the state.

Moving forward, John Des Rosier, executive director of the fund, said the group has been engaged in a strategic planning process to diversify funding for future years and the recent legislative session has prompted them to act with more urgency. LSDF’s tobacco settlement funding is scheduled to run out in 2017.

In another update to previous reporting in the Digest, Gov. Inslee signed into law HB 2029, a measure effectively ending Innovate Washington.

The supplemental budget bill (SB 6002) is available at: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6002.

Washingtonstate tbed, state budget, bio