California must act to attract biomanufacturing; report

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: California

BayBio has called on California’s leaders to enact legislation to promote biomanufacturing in response to the aggressive policies pursued by other states.

The Northern Californian life science association’s IMPACT 2009 report is concerned that policies are not in place to ensure that treatments developed in the state will be not manufactured elsewhere.

It claims the state has 210 treatments in the final stage of development but is concerned that when some of these reach to market they will be manufactured outside of California.

The fear that the state is poorly placed to maximise the benefits of its active pipeline has been intensified by Genentech’s decision to build a manufacturing facility outside of California.

Matt Gardner, president and CEO of BayBio, said: “We need California to get its priorities right. Promoting investment in the innovation economy is rightfully a main concern, but we ignore the fruits of that research by letting multimillion dollar manufacturing gems like Genentech expand in a neighboring state with a favorable tax policy​.

This does an enormous disservice to the fiscal health of the state and the job opportunities for Californians with community college degrees​.”

To ensure that it positions itself at the forefront of the increasingly competitive interstate battle for biomanufacturing the report recommends Californian enacts a number of changes.

These cover a wide spectrum of areas and are intended to ensure that California has both the economic incentives and human resources to attract and retain biomanufacturing.

Priority recommendations made by the report include the establishment of major economic incentives to encourage companies to make bioprocessing and biomanufacturing investments in California.

In addition, to ease the process for companies looking to set up in California the report recommends incentives are offered to local communities who “zone biotech regions in their local general plan master planning​”.

Two final priority recommendations are made, which cover the implementation of a strategy to attract and retain maths and science teachers and an expansion of the allowable uses for the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank.

BayBio is particularly concerned about the state of California’s education system, which it believes is failing to meet the employment needs of the companies it is trying to attract.

While efforts to attract and retain more maths and science teachers would probably help, the report acknowledges that California’s “budget crunch​” is likely to have a detrimental effect on funding.

Consequently BayBio is concerned that companies will continue to lack the human resources needed to prosper and may look elsewhere when locating their company or expanding.

The full report can be found here​.

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