life sciences

Massachusetts Governor proposes over $2 billion for major initiatives in life sciences, climatetech, and AI

On March 1, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey introduced and filed her administration’s anticipated economic development measure, AN Act Relative to Strengthening Massachusetts’ Economic Leadership, or the Mass Leads Act. The measure seeks to reauthorize the state’s life sciences investments at $1 billion for the next decade, launch a separate $1 billion, 10-year climatetech initiative, and build on the momentum of the state's CHIPS + Science wins by proposing targeted investments in advanced manufacturing and robotics. It also includes $100 million to create an Applied AI Hub in Massachusetts. It seeks to advance the strategies, implement the policies, and fund the initiatives Healy laid out in her economic development plan, Team Massachusetts—Leading Future Generations, which was released in December and presented in her 2024 State of the State address.

Useful Stats: SSTI analysis reviews life science patent distribution throughout the U.S., 1998-2020

It appears that innovation is contagious. Maps reveal that once there is a concentration of patents granted to inventors in one U.S. county, innovation starts to percolate in neighboring counties. And the phenomenon isn’t found only in established life sciences hubs like San Diego or Boston. SSTI observed this spillover effect in Washtenaw County, Michigan and Hennepin County, Minnesota, among other places. These data suggest that when a strong base is located, likely due to new companies and startups establishing themselves, innovation lays down its roots and spreads to other counties.

MA life sciences workforce grows 131 percent, recommendations outlined to continue momentum

Moving away from four-year degree programs and toward apprenticeships is one of the recommendations to help ease the workforce shortage experience in the life sciences industry. This and other recommendations are part of a recently released report from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, also known as MassBio, on workforce trends in the life sciences industry in Massachusetts. The report also offers recommendations for short- and long-term solutions and strategies for building the workforce in the life sciences industry in Massachusetts that might have applicability in other regions.

Recent Research: Beyond economic development, local life science R&D saves local lives

Faculty of the nation’s higher education institutions have long used research publications and citations as a measure of success. A new working paper posted by the National Bureau of Economic Researchers (NBER) suggests a select group of research publications may do more than gain the authors tenure and celebrity in their chosen field: these works are correlated with reductions in local disease-related mortality. In an era of marked increases in anti-intellectualism among legislatures, is this finding an additional argument to add to TBED policymakers’ arsenal for increasing state and regional investments targeting R&D?

Life science industry proves resilient after difficult year

Helping to meet the challenge of fighting a global pandemic while growing high-quality jobs during an economic downturn, the life sciences industry showed its strength over the course of the past year. An update to the biennial Life Science Workforce Trends report from the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI) asserts that it is because of the industry’s skilled-talent base and sets out to assess the industry’s position and priorities in 2021, focusing on its demands for workforce and talent.

NYC investing $1B in life sciences

New York City  Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city is planning to double its $500 million investment in the LifeSci NYC commitment, to reach a total of $1 billion invested in life sciences over the next 10 years. The mayor, whose term in office expires at the end of this year, and the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), kicked off the investment by announcing a request for proposals (RFP) to help advance the commercial research and development of new medicines, medical devices, diagnostics, materials, and research tools.

SSTI encourages OSTP to support bioeconomy through commercialization, apprenticeship assistance

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is exploring a national strategy to promote the U.S. bioeconomy. In response to a request for information, SSTI submitted a letter encouraging OSTP to leverage existing regional assets as part of its approach. To see more innovations converted into new products, services and businesses, the letter encourages a new program to fund commercialization assistance and to strengthen SBIR. To see more workers benefit from the bioeconomy sector, and to see companies in the industry become more efficient, the letter highlights the potential value of high-skill apprenticeship models. Read the full letter.

MA authorizes more than $1 billion in new economic development activities

The Massachusetts legislature ended its 2018 session with a slate of bills related to tech-based economic development. Legislation for general economic development, life sciences industry, and green communities created new authorizations and provided for more than $1 billion in bond funding authority, with a substantial portion allocation to innovation-related activities. From broadband access to SBIR support to workforce development, the bills created a host of new opportunities for TBED in the Bay State.

MA Gov proposes $500M for life sciences

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced a legislative proposal that would provide $500 million over five years for the life sciences sector, extending the state’s commitment to the biotech and medical technology industry. The money would be used for strategic investments in public infrastructure, research and development, workforce training and education. The proposal includes a $295 million bond authorization to provide capital funding,  up to $150 million in job-creating tax incentives, and $55 million for the Investment Fund, which would be provided through the annual consolidated net surplus, the same funding mechanism as the current initiative. The funding will continue to be managed by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and build on earlier investments. MLSC was charged with implementing the $1 billion, 10-year state-funded initiative that was signed into law by former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in 2008 and expires next year.

MI’s research corridor spurs state economy

Michigan’s University Research Corridor, an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, conducted $1.2 billion in academic R&D in the life, medical and health sciences, and served as a stabilizing force to the state’s economy as one of the only sectors that grew during the 2000s. Those are among the findings of the 2017 URC sector report, which was prepared by Public Sector Consultants. The report, Leading Discovery: URC Contributions to the Life, Medical and Health Sciences, notes that employment in the life, medical and health sciences sector, which accounts for one in eight jobs in Michigan, is up 18.9 percent since 2000, compared to overall Michigan employment, which is down 9.3 percent.

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