Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) was pleased to participate in the ground breaking of bioscience Connecticut at UCONN Health Center in Farmington.
"The state has taken a big step," said Sen. Boucher. "I am a strong advocate of the research and development that will take place inside this facility because it will lead to technology transfer jobs. Eventually I would like to see it build a solid foundation for the future economy of Connecticut."
"It’s a new day for the UCONN Health Center, our region and beyond," Dr. Frank M. Torti, the Health Center’s executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine, said before the official groundbreaking for Bioscience Connecticut.
The state is investing $864 million to expand the medical and research capabilities - Bioscience Connecticut. The project will include a new patient tower at John Dempsey Hospital at the UConn Health Center, several new labs and more parking.
"This move proves our state can become a partner with business and higher education to attract this technology industry," said Sen. Boucher.
Research that may not be commercially feasible at first is often done in our institutions of higher learning and in our medical institutions. The state provides significant research and development tax credits (R&D) for biotech companies. As a member of the General Assembly’s Higher Education Committee, Senator Boucher recognizes the benefit to the state down the road from this emerging field.
Technology transfer is the taking of research in a university that leads to medicine or a medical or computer device (invention) innovation that is commercially viable. It is spun off as a small start up company with private investment partners so a product can be sold to the consumer, giving royalties to university and profit to the start up and investors.
Sen. Boucher’s strong advocacy for this rapidly growing industry stems from previous work experience stemming back two decades in the then new and emerging biotechnology industry in San Diego, California.
"Over the years, I followed San Diego’s transformation from a defense dependent economy to becoming a leader in the biotechnology industry, with growth rates of 20-30% per year. In returning to my home state of Connecticut, I have found that many of these same conditions for growth of this industry exist, but are yet to be tapped," said Sen. Boucher.
San Diego started with one company, Hybritech in 1978 and is now home to 110 firms, the 4th largest concentration of biotechnology firms, and 10% of all firms in the country.
Senator Boucher believes if a city can accomplish this feat, imagine what the state could achieve it if is similarly focused.
Sen. Boucher said, "It is irrefutable that bioscience is the future of the UCONN Health Center and positive for Connecticut’s economy. I was pleased to sponsor favorable R & D tax policy in the early years of my legislative career and have consistently supported UCONN’s efforts in this arena."
(In photo attached: Sen. Toni Boucher along with Governor Dannel P. Malloy, UCONN President Susan Herbst, and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Frank Torti for a groundbreaking ceremony for Bioscience Connecticut.)
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said, "Bioscience Connecticut has the strong potential to create thousands of well paying jobs in an industry that’s poised to grow. By some estimates, the personalized medicine industry generates nearly $300 billion dollars every year. Thanks to the work we’re doing at the UCONN Health Center, Connecticut is well positioned to claim its share of this thriving business sector."