NEW YORK, March 3 - Michigan's Life Science Corridor -- a 20-year initiative launched in 1999 to boost the state's life sciences industry using $1 billion in tobacco settlement money -- is beginning to feel the effects of a $1.7 billion budget deficit facing the state.
Under an executive order issued to balance the 2003 budget, Governor Jennifer Granholm will reduce the $45 million originally allocated for the Michigan Life Science Corridor Grant Fund by $12.5 million in 2003 -- an amount that "significantly weakens this promising and innovative program," according to MichBio, the state's life sciences industry association. The organization issued a statement today condemning Governor Granholm's plan as "disappointing" and "a very significant retreat."
According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which oversees the Life Science Corridor, over 50 life science companies have started in the state since the inception of the program in 1999, and $150 million has already been allocated from the $1 billion initiative. Last year's award of $45 million was split between 18 projects, including several proteomics, genomics, and bioinformatics projects.
MEDC has already begun accepting applicants for its 2003 round of funding. Proposals include several bioinformatics and microarray development projects.