The Pennsylvania Life Sciences Greenhouse Initiative was created through Act 77 of 2001 as part of a larger plan to ensure continued growth in Pennsylvania’s life sciences. The one-time investment of $100 million from the Tobacco Settlement into this initiative represents one of the largest technology-based economic development investments the state’s history. The program actively invests in early-stage life science companies and offers relocation and expansion incentives. The three regional organizations that comprise the initiative offer connections to angel investors, strategic partners and resources, along with business consulting services.
The Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholars Program was created by business and university leadership to attract the world’s pre-eminent scientists to Georgia’s universities to lead programs of research and development in areas with the most potential for generating new high-value companies, helping established companies grow and creating new high-wage jobs.
With the financial backing of the state legislature in 2010, the state’s research universities, private foundations and other supporters, the Eminent Scholars Program is marshalling the required talent and resources and driving an effective strategy for achieving these results.
To date, the Alliance has invested some $400 million, which has helped to attract more than 50 Eminent Scholars, leverage an additional $2 billion in federal and private funding, create more than 5,000 new technology jobs, generate some 120 new technology companies, and allow established Georgia companies to expand into new markets.
To support the development of technology prior to company formation, the Alliance created VentureLab, a strategy for enhancing and accelerating the process of spinning new technology-based enterprises out of university research. The goals of VentureLab are to provide earlier and increased awareness by the business and investment community of university commercialization opportunities and to provide an easier and more efficient process for turning these technologies into new companies or new markets for established startups.
The Kentucky Innovation Act established the Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI) in 2000 within the Cabinet of Economic Development, which provides pre-seed funding to develop promising technologies.
Under the Kentucky Innovation Act, the General Assembly directed the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) to invest in research and development activity to promote innovation and build a pipeline of new ideas and technologies that could add value to the scientific and economic growth in the Commonwealth.
South Carolina's 2005 Innovation Centers Act led to the creation of SCLaunch! to aid Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina in their commercialization efforts. SCLaunch! provides funding, mentoring and support services; an SBIR/STTR Phase I matching grant program; and a range of other smaller programs.
In 2004 and 2005 action by the General Assembly established the Venture Capital Investment Act to increase the availability of venture capital funds to help strengthen the state's economic base and to support South Carolina’s economic development goals. The legislation created the Venture Capital Investment Authority to oversee the program that provides tax credits for private investment companies offering equity, near-equity or seed capital for companies in the state that are emerging, expanding, relocating or restructuring.
State bioscience trade associations advocate to lawmakers and government agencies at every level in favor of public policies that support the responsible development of the bioscience industry. These associations are often the driving force behind state initiatives that address the need for expanded worker training and technology transfer programs. As such, they are a critical component of the mix in both established and emerging bioscience clusters.
Supporting Bioscience Industry with Venture Capital and Discovery Funds
A significant number of state governments over the past 15 years have legislatively endorsed measures that pro-actively promote the formation of venture capital and discovery funds that benefit targeted technology sectors, especially at early stages that are underserved by existing capital markets. Understanding that if they are to effectively compete to create and retain biosciences companies, states have modified their supportive investment structures to more accurately reflect the changing nature of the industry and competitive funding techniques.
From encouraging pension fund investments and quasi-public investments mediated by privately managed venture funds to funds of funds mechanisms, several useful capital formation initiatives were created by the states that provide vital “deal flow” funding for companies at various stages of research and development.