Virginia Bioscience Economy Initiative
The Virginia Bioscience Economy Initiative is a comprehensive set of legislative and budget proposals for Virginia, building on programs that work, improving what we have, and creating new programs with long term strategic impact, all designed to move Virginia into leadership in the bioscience innovation economy. The plan is the culmination of over a year of effort led by Virginia Bio and involving private sector leaders, university administrators and researchers, and policymakers, and involved meetings, conferences, research, discussions, work groups.
The full plan can be viewed and downloaded at : The_Virginia_bioscience_econ.pdf
Virginia unveiled this initiative in a webinar on October 20, 2015, which can be viewed below.
We have sent our legislators and Administration officials the following message.
Virginia Bio led this year long effort because we are interested in the vitality of the bioscience industry, but also because we are concerned about the economic future of Virginia. There is an urgent need for smart state policy to jumpstart diversified, high-tech, high-wage economic growth across the state. Defense and federal cuts will continue and the budget is inescapably subject to escalating obligations like K-12 and health care. Virginia leaders must act now to grow the economy and generate revenue to meet budget obligations, strengthen our regions, and provide good jobs for our workers and a promising future for our children.
Investing in the bioscience/biomedical fields can yield the growing economic returns Virginia needs. The bioscience industry’s strong job base has grown faster than the state average. Average salaries are nearly twice the private sector average. The industry enjoys a massive and expanding global market of needs. Virginia has all the pieces needed to grow into a top tier bioscience innovation state – leading universities, dynamic health care systems, big data giants, and an entrepreneurial bio-economy across all regions of the state, an enormous agricultural economy, and adjacency to Washington DC. But unless we align the pieces and develop strategic focus, the opportunity will slip away to other states and nations.
Virginia Bio has led the development of a simple and practical plan for smart state policies that will help innovative companies like ours flourish and create jobs. It is the result of over a year’s effort by hundreds of people from all across the state that was led by our industry and includes many of us. We urge you to support the Virginia Bio plan in the State budget.
This plan fits Virginia. It will impact all regions of the state. It will catalyze long term growth of the private sector statewide. It builds on our strengths, and focuses our resources into areas of excellence and outstanding commercial opportunity. It engages the power of the private sector. Virginians are not enjoying the full potential in economic activity from investments in our great universities: this plan bends university behavior towards commercialization, alignment and collaboration with industry and other universities. Virginians often see local and regional economic development efforts at cross purposes and ineffectual: this plan overcomes that systematic parochialism by incentivizing alignment and regional and statewide collaborations. Mindful of budget constraints, the plan calls in large part for bond funding, and the state’s investments are leveraged by requiring up front matching private sector investment.
This plan will create high-paying bioscience jobs, new companies, and growth of existing companies like ours. It will create the conditions that will attract major companies to seed investments, expand and grow here. This plan can help you create a legacy of a stronger and diversified Virginia economy for our children, vast improvements in human health and wellness for our citizens and the world. Similar focused programs have certainly done so for other states. With the assets we have in Virginia, we have no doubt we can become top tier in bioscience commercialization in the Nation.
2016 Legislative Session Wrap-Up
The Governor's proposed budget was very generous to the bioscience industry. Although we did not get all of the proposed amount, we received far more than we have in the past.
The full synopsis can be viewed and downloaded at : General_Assembly_2016_update.pdf
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