June 15, 2018

Baker signs $623M life sciences bill

Photo | State House News Service
Gov. Charlie Baker

Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday signed a $623-million life sciences bond bill to provide funding for education, research and development and workforce training for the industry.

The bill is a reauthorization of the Mass Life Sciences Initiative, a program started 10 years ago by former Gov. Deval Patrick to invest public money in the state's life sciences company.

The bill rededicates money to the industry in order to help attract world-class companies to the state, Baker said.

"In partnership with the Legislature, our administration remains dedicated to generating economic growth and supplying researchers with the tools they need to create new advancements in medical care," Baker said in a press release.

The five-year, 473 bond authorization provides capital funding designed to bolster the state's ecosystem through collaborations maximizing third-party investments and making the state more competitive in attracting those companies.

Also included is the expansion of state tax credits to $150 million over five years.

The funding will be managed by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which is co-chaired by Administration & Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan and Housing & Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.

The state's public investments have enabled bioscience companies in the state to flourish, Ash said in a statement.

"By continuing to invest, we will maintain the vitality and competitiveness of an industry that continues to create great jobs for our people and positively impact society," Ash said.

Just last week, Worcester, the state and Worcester Business Development Corp. signed an agreement with China-based WuXi Biologics to see the company build a $60-million biomanufacturing facility in the Worcester Biomanufacturing Park.

The company received an undisclosed amount of support from the city, state, WBDC and MLSC.

The bill authorizes the MLSC to extend the tax credit to the end of 2028, and increases its current annual statutory cap to $30 million on tax credit awards.

According to Baker's office, 207 awards have been authorized under the program, including $181 million in incentives, creating more than 8,800 new jobs across the state.

Travis McCready, the MLSC CEO, said the private-public partnerships have allowed the industry to thrive in Massachusetts.

"We know the entire biotech world is watching Massachusetts and today sends the strong message that together, we here in the commonwealth have every intention to remain the number one center of life sciences innovation in the world," McCready said in a press release.

Read more

WuXi Biologics agreement includes up to $21M in city, state help

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