DECD: New Bioscience Connecticut Initiative Will Create Thousands of New Jobs

Governor Malloy:  New Bioscience Connecticut Initiative Will Create Thousands of New Jobs, Sustain Economic Growth Going Forward, Spur Innovation in the Future

May 17, 2011
 
Contact:  Colleen Flanagan, 860-524-7308, Colleen.Flanagan@ct.gov
 
 
Proposal will make UCHC a hub of research/clinical work in bioscience; Position Connecticut to lead the way in the industry
 
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced a new jobs initiative at the University of Connecticut Health Center, which will help put people to work now and sustain economic growth and innovation going forward. In addition, the proposal will help make Connecticut a leader in the bioscience industry. Governor Malloy was joined at the announcement by the Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith; UConn President Philip Austin; UConn President-Designate Susan Herbst; Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, UConn Health Center Vice President for Health Affairs and Medical School Dean; legislators and representatives from the construction and bioscience industries.
 
“This proposal represents a new way of thinking about the UConn Health Center and the way in which it can be leveraged to create new jobs now and sustain economic growth and public health innovation down the road,” said Governor Malloy. “It’s not just a medical and dental school or just a hospital – we have to think about the campus in its entirety and its potential to help Connecticut become a leader in a bioscience economy. In addition, the way in which this proposal is structured will ensure that we’re not waiting 5, 10, or 15 years to see a return on our investment – construction jobs will be created as soon as the new tower and parking facility will be built, an expanded medical and dental school class will follow that, and further economic growth and public health innovation will continue. It’s a win-win.”
 
Highlights of Gov. Malloy’s proposal include:
 
  • Providing 3,000 construction jobs annually from 2012 through 2018.
  • The generation of $4.6 billion increase in personal income by 2037, including the creation of 16,400 jobs.
  • Doubled federal and industry research grants to drive discovery, innovation and commercialization.
  • Increased access to high quality health care.
  • Graduate and retain more physicians and dentists to meet forecasted workforce shortage and meet increased demand for health care services resulting from health care reform.
  • Strengthen and stabilize UCHC’s finances.
 
The proposal will be paid for by a combination of new bonding, private financing, and UConn Health Center resources, will expand bioscience research capacity and productivity, increase the number of clinician-scientists and basic scientists, and expand incubator facilities to foster new business start-ups. In addition, the proposal will increase UCHC’s medical and dental school enrollments by 30 percent and establish a loan forgiveness program to attract more graduates to practice primary care medicine and dentistry in Connecticut. Lastly, construction will begin on a new patient tower and new ambulatory care facility and renovations to existing research facilities which will create jobs now, and help increase the number of UCHC primary and specialty care clinicians. The Health Center’s own finances will be stabilized and strengthened through this proposal, as well.
 
"Governor Malloy and I share the belief that Connecticut's universities and colleges should serve as economic drivers, fueling job growth and innovation in the industry sectors key to our long-term prosperity," said Commissioner Smith.  "This project capitalizes on the UConn Health Center as an economic development asset. Our state investment demonstrates our commitment to expanding research and development, increasing incubation and technology transfer activities, building a diverse base of talent, and increasing the state's overall capabilities in the bioscience arena. More importantly, the project will have a positive impact on the regional and state economies by creating thousands of jobs in the short- and long-term."
 
“Bioscience Connecticut will expand and improve the capacity and productivity of our research, enabling the Health Center to double federal and industry bioscience research grants,” said President-Designate Herbst. “The new discoveries and innovations that result will produce technologies that can be transferred to industry, strengthening the competitiveness of existing Connecticut businesses and creating new enterprises.  As has been the case in similar initiatives across the country, the ultimate impact on private sector employment, personal income and State revenues will more than repay the initial investment.”
 
“The increased enrollment, combined with other elements of Bioscience Connecticut is expected to raise our schools into top tier, national status,” said Dr. Laurencin. “In turn, this will spur economic growth and lasting public health benefits for our state.”