Mayor's plan boosts life sciences in the Big Apple
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched a $500 million initiative to create 16,000 new life science jobs and build out New York City as a research and innovation hub.
- The project will include a 1,000 paid internships, training programs and well-paying job placements, the Mayor's office announced on Dec. 13.
- Under the initiative, dubbed LifeSci NYC, the city will also gain a new Applied Life Sciences Campus along Manhattan’s East Side or in neighboring Long Island City will provide 2.8 million square feet of commercial lab space.
In recent years, New York City has been hoping to become the home to new biotechs in an effort to compete with life science hubs like Boston and San Diego. Yet, the high cost of living and a lack of commercial lab space has limited the number of biotechs drawn to NYC.
Life sciences has created a 16% growth in jobs in NYC from administration and marketing, through technicians to high-end science research, according to the Mayor's office. LifeSci NYC, through a ten point plan, aims to create a further 16,000 new jobs – 9,000 in the sector, 7,000 in related fields and 7,400 construction jobs, along with 1,000 paid internships at global pharma companies, investors and research institutions. Its backers predict an increase in economic output of $2.5 billion a year, $6.5 billion in additional private investment and $1 billion in tax revenue. To feed into this, the City University of New York and other schools and hospitals will up their game in skills-building for the sector.
Key points from the plan include $100 million to create the Applied Life Science Campus as the core of the initiative. This is likely to be constructed in Manhattan’s East Side or Long Island City. A further $60 million will be used to expand the network of life sciences R&D facilities and incubators, creating new workspace for research and support innovators. The first of up to five new incubators is expected to open in 2017.
Incubators are increasingly becoming an integral part of the biopharma ecosystem, as both big pharmas and private entities invest in the spaces to help bridge the gap between the bench and the bedside.
Funding is always a challenge for new start-ups, and de Blasio has committed $20 million a year in matched seed and growth funding. This has potential to help up to 80 young companies. Alongside this, the initiative will also train up new entrepreneurs, and link new companies with experienced entrepreneurs to provide support and advice.
This will all be supported by the Mayor’s Life Sciences Advisory Council, which will bring together experts from academia, industry, philanthropy and finance to provide advice. The council will work with the administration to promote New York as a global center for life sciences.
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