MedTech: Gov. Cuomo hits mark with NY's Life Sciences Initiative

Thursday, December 29, 2016


MedTech applauds Gov. Andrewr Cuomo for launching a bold, $650 million life sciences initiativeMedTech has long advocated for a comprehensive life sciences initiative and the governor's initiative answers that call.

New York's life sciences industry is a significant part of the state's economy and has longstanding roots throughout New York. A 2014 study commissioned by MedTech estimated that the bioscience industry has a total revenue impact on New York of $62.6 billion - including some $20.2 billion in Upstate New York alone. The bioscience industry employs over 205,000 people, including 77,000 in Upstate New York. This includes direct, indirect and induced positions - so it is not just the bioscience industry that benefits from the life sciences. The region's more than 28,000 jobs make it large enough that if Upstate New York were a separate state, it would rank as the 18th largest bioscience industry in the U.S. Further, the average annual bioscience wage in 2012 was $71,900, which averages about $30,000 annually more than the total private sector average for our region. These are highly skilled, highly prized jobs that contribute to the total economy of Upstate New York.

New York, however, faces stiff competition to retain and grow the life sciences industry here in New York from states which have advanced comprehensive life science initiatives including Massachusetts, North Carolina and California, as well as from other countries. Competing states have poached researchers from our leading academic institutions and companies, offered generous tax benefits and created workforce development programs targeted to the needs of life sciences companies. A survey commissioned by MedTech of 21 bioscience and medical technology executives indicated that for growth in this important industry, New York needed a more formalized statewide system of academic partnerships, greater access to capital for startup companies and access to a skilled work force and key job skills such as research engineers and scientists, quality assurance/control/validation positions and product development.

The governor's plan addresses these needs and more. It includes tax credits for research and development, supports key researchers in our academic centers, provides capital for start-up companies and workforce development initiatives. It also makes available 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 throughout New York, which leverages the resources of the state's deep pool of leading academic institutions.

In short, the public-private initiative proposed by Gov. Cuomo is comprehensive, and achievable. It raises the bar for New York as a leader in the life sciences industry and will accelerate the growth of the life sciences industry in New York.

Jessica Crawford

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