Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking $650 Million Initiative to Fuel Growth of a World-Class Life Science Cluster in New York

Monday, December 12, 2016

Source: Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a groundbreaking new $650 million initiative to spur the growth of a new, world-class life science research cluster in New York, as well as expand the state’s ability to commercialize this research and grow the economy. This multi-faceted initiative includes $250 million in tax incentives for new and existing life science companies, $200 million in state capital grants to support investment in wet-lab and innovation space, $100 million in investment capital for early stage life science initiatives, with an additional match of at least $100 million for operating support from private sector partnerships. 

"New York is uniquely positioned to become a global powerhouse in the life science sector and this groundbreaking initiative is making the investments and establishing the programs necessary for capitalizing on our tremendous potential," Governor Cuomo said."From providing the incentives to attract top talent and drive innovation, to providing the space that emerging life science companies need to grow, we are breaking down barriers and helping the industry gain momentum. Now, the Empire State is well-positioned to be the home of future discoveries that will move our economy forward and save lives across the world." 

The Life Science sector encompasses the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, and includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization. Every day, firms in this sector are developing new medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs that have the potential to save lives, whether through new therapies or the early detection of diseases like autism and cancer. These firms are also making significant advancements in the realms of agriculture and environmental biotechnologies, helping create a cleaner and more sustainable future.

By strengthening incentives, investing in the facilities, and improving access to talent and expertise, New York will significantly increase its share of industry-funded research and development, support the commercialization of existing academic research, and usher in the next generation of advanced technologies. Beyond the advancements in science, this initiative will position New York to be a magnet for emerging manufacturing based enterprises, bolstering regional economies and creating thousands of jobs.

Specifically, the Governor’s life science initiative includes: 

Providing $250 Million in Tax Incentives for New and Existing Life Sciences Companies that are Expanding Research and Development 
To better compete with other states actively poaching New York’s top life science research talent, the state must draw more capital to this sector from early stage and angel investors, as well as make it more attractive for existing and new firms in life sciences to locate, invent, commercialize and produce here in New York. 

Under the Governor’s program:

  • Existing life science businesses would be eligible for an annual allocation of $10 million in Excelsior tax credits; 
  • New life science businesses would receive a 15 percent refundable tax credit on all new qualifying research and development expenditures. Small businesses in the life sciences industry could be eligible for a 20 percent credit. 
  • Angel investors would receive a credit of 25 percent of their investment, with a maximum of $250,000 per investor.

Providing $200 Million in State Capital Grants and Offering More Than 3.2 Million Square Feet of Space and 1,100 acres of Developable Land Tax Free to Accelerate Life Science Innovation
Innovation in the life sciences requires state-of-the-art laboratory space, equipment and technology. The Governor’s initiative invests $200 million, over ten years, to support the capital needs of life science entities, positioning New York’s wet labs and innovation space to be the place where future technologies are born. 

Additionally, the lack of affordable and appropriate lab space has been cited as a barrier to New York reaching its potential in the life sciences. To remedy this, the state will also make more than 3.2 million square feet of innovation space and 1,100 acres of developable land available tax free at 45 colleges and universities statewide. The availability of grants, land and space creates an unprecedented opportunity to expand access to wet labs, infrastructure and other equipment essential for life sciences research, innovation and development. 

Click here for a regional breakdown of the available innovation space and developable land.

Governor Cuomo will announce new public-private sector partnerships resulting from this effort during the 2017 State of the State Address.

Providing $100 Million in Investment Capital for Early Stage Life Sciences Initiatives, Matched by at least $100 Million from the Private Sector
As part of New York’s commitment to the growth of this sector, the state is pledging $100 million for additional investment capital for early stage life science firms. In addition, private sector partnerships are also pledging matching funds for investment and operational support, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. 

Part of the investment will include a new life science launch competition, modeled on the highly successful 43North innovation competition, will further support the growth of this sector. New York State will host a quarterly, 13-week regional life science launch competition in which firms in the midst of conducting groundbreaking research and developing emerging technologies would compete for $25,000 grant funding. All the quarterly winners will then compete for one of five $100,000 top business launch prizes at a statewide annual Life Sciences Summit, which will gather top researchers, commercial firms venture funders and policymakers together to strategize next steps for continued aggressive growth of the life science sector. 

Developing Research and Entrepreneurial Talent Necessary for Launching and Growing Life Science Businesses
Access to talent and management expertise continues to be needed in order for early stage life science firms to succeed. In order to grow this talent base in New York, Governor Cuomo is establishing programs and partnerships that will attract top flight researchers to work with our academic centers and medical schools on the latest life science innovations. These include:

  • A Life Sciences Internship Program will leverage New York’s network of public/private academic centers to facilitate the placement of students--or recent graduates--enrolled in a life science field of study at a college or university located in New York into paid internships with a partnering life science company. 
  • A life sciences researcher recruitment program that will work with our academic medical colleges and other academic programs to attract top-flight life sciences researchers.
  • Entrepreneurial Advisory Panels in Life Sciences that will match entrepreneurs and innovators with a panel of mentors that will help guide them in their business decisions, increasing the rate of success and growth of new firms in New York State. 
  • Partnership with the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program administered by the New York State Department of Health, which provides over $8.5 million annually to teaching hospitals that train physicians as clinical researchers in order to advance life sciences research in New York to attract and retain the best life sciences researchers.

The Governor’s multi-pronged approach will be guided by a new Life Sciences Advisory Board, comprised of leaders in multiple life science disciplines, both from industry and academia. The membership of the board will be announced with the Governor’s 2017 State of the State address.

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