Governor Cuomo’s proposal to pump $650 million into the state’s growing life sciences industry got a big push on Tuesday when the BCW, The Long Island Association and The Partnership for New York City told state legislative leaders that the funding could help propel New York to the forefront of this booming industry.
Appealing to Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, the coalition said Cuomo’s initiative to invest in the life sciences industry in New York would establish a thriving downstate industry cluster that would create high-paying jobs and boost the economy.
“Westchester is rapidly becoming one of the largest centers for the life sciences industry,’’ said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester. “With Regeneron’s expansion, the proposal for a $1.2 billion biotech center at ‘North 60’ site in Valhalla and the New York Medical College’s biotechnology incubator, we are well-positioned to attract others in this field. Governor Cuomo’s proposal would provide funds for tax incentives, matching funds for capital investments and support for job training. In short, this is an opportunity that we cannot pass up.’’
The group cited Tarrytown-based Regeneron as an example of the rapid growth of the industry, and the benefits it has brought for the local economy. Starting as a small scientific lab in 1989, the company is now worldwide with 4,000 employees, and annual revenues of more than $5 billion. Regeneron has proposed doubling the size of its research and development center.
Other government investments in life sciences have paid off. The coalition pointed to a $1 billion investment in life sciences by Massachusetts in 2008 which created 10,200 jobs and generated more than $2.3 billion in capital investments. It positioned the state as a global leader in life sciences.
“New York has moved from number ten in funding for high-tech industry to number two, but in order to be number one we have to have the vision to invest in our future, and life sciences is the next big industry,’’ said John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and COO of the Business Council of Westchester.