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NY Life Sciences to Get $1.15B Boost Through Government Programs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Aiming to drive life sciences research in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this week unveiled two initiatives that will commit a total of $1.15 billion in funding and tax incentives for education, business development, and job creation in the sector.

De Blasio's plan, called LifeSci NYC, will provide $500 million to boost life sciences innovation and education in the city. It includes the creation of the Applied Life Sciences Campus to facilitate collaboration between academia and industry, and the establishment of an advisory group to advise city officials on life science programs and facilitate partnerships with industry players.

Cuomo's program, meanwhile, will invest $650 million into driving life sciences research and industry within the state, offering tax incentives to businesses, providing funding for laboratory space and equipment, and offering grants for early-stage research.

Under the LifeSci NYC plan, New York City will commit $100 million to create the Applied Life Sciences Campus, which will serve as an institutional anchor for the life sciences industry based on the Cornell Tech model. Planned to be located in Manhattan's East Side or Long Island City, the campus will help drive innovation, promote R&D partnerships, and offer entrepreneurial training.

Another $50 million will be provided to existing academic medical centers and research institutions including up to eight non-profit organizations that will act as a network to create new workspace for research with strong commercial potential. The city also plans to invest $10 million in up to five new incubators and innovation centers that are located near existing research centers, and provide $20 million in matching seed and growth funding to early-stage businesses.

A total of $7.5 million will be allocated to a new internship program to connect students with opportunities at life science companies and institutions including Roche, Eli Lilly, and the New York Genome Center; with another $7.5 million going to the creation of a Life Sciences Management Corps to help startups secure experienced entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Under LifeSci NYC, $300 million in tax incentives will be offered to commercial labs to encourage the creation of affordable lab space in the city, while land use policies will be clarified so that lab space for life sciences R&D will be permitted in most commercial zones.

Lastly, the de Blasio administration has committed $3.8 million to expand two existing training programs: the Bio and Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab program, which will add new curriculum in areas such as corporate commercialization and project management; and the SBIR Impact program, which helps life sciences firms compete for National Institutes of Health funding.

LifeSci NYC will also establish the Mayor's Life Sciences Advisory Council, which will include experts from academia, industry, philanthropy, and finance who will provide insights to the mayor's office and work with the administration to promote New York City as a center for life sciences.

De Blasio said that the program has set a hard target for job creation including 9,000 direct jobs in the life sciences sector; 7,000 new jobs in related fields; and 7,400 construction jobs — all of which is expected to boost the city's economic output by $2.5 billion annually, while attracting $6.5 billion in private investment and raising $1 billion in tax revenue.

"We are creating a springboard into the innovative life science economy for our workers, innovators,  and startup businesses that will make our whole economy stronger," Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.

"Increasing opportunities for the study of life sciences in New York City benefits all of our communities by providing paths to stable, well-paying careers," City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Vivetiro added. "LifeSci NYC will positively impact thousands of New Yorkers."

Cuomo's program will provide $250 million in tax incentives to new and existing life sciences companies to encourage them to maintain R&D and commercial activities in New York State. Further, $200 million will be provided over 10 years in state capital grants to laboratories, and more than 3.2 million square feet of space and 1,100 acres of developable land at 45 colleges and universities statewide will be made available tax-free to companies that collaborate with these academic institutions. New York State will also provide $100 million in investment capital for early-stage life science firms, with another $100 million pledged by private sector partners.

Under Cuomo's initiative, New York is also kicking off a number of programs to attract talent to the state's academic centers and medical schools including an internship program for students or recent graduates, a researcher recruitment program, an entrepreneurial advisory panel to match entrepreneurs and innovators, and a partnership with the New York State Department of Health.
"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," Cuomo said in a statement. "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."