2011 Policy Priorities
Washington state is fortunate to have a dynamic and diverse technology sector that benefits from vibrant global demand for its output which helps drive our economy. Washington must leverage its potential and actively work to create and ensure a supportive environment that enables entrepreneurial people and companies to convert innovative ideas into marketable new products, services and jobs. We are uniquely positioned to shape our future success in life sciences.
Recommendation: Establish a commercialization and innovation sector lead within state government to promote and grow innovation and commercialization in life sciences.
Life Sciences Discovery Fund Advantage
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) has been described as one of the smart and high-impact programs our state has created to move the economy forward. Early returns already indicate measurable results which include jobs and health care savings, as well as, leveraging additional funding, recruiting talented researchers, and increasing company collaborations with research institutions. Thus far, for every dollar LSDF grants awardees, nine dollars are leveraged from out of state funds and partners, creating jobs and supporting our economy. LSDF is a proven investment in Washington’s future across the state. Now is not the time to falter in that investment.
Recommendation: Fulfill the state’s commitment to the LSDF.
Favorable Business Climate Critical
Washington needs to retain, recruit and incentivize new life science companies to move, remain and establish themselves in the state by creating a favorable business climate for the sector. Despite the unprecedented and ongoing budget difficulties facing the state, supportive tax polices to retain and help grow life science businesses must continue.
Recommendation: Make permanent state tax incentives for R&D and advanced/high tech manufacturing.
Capital Creates Good Jobs
Private life science companies have an inordinately larger impact upon job growth, economic activity, and on the state’s tax revenue base compared to the rest of the private sector. Life science jobs pay more than twice as much as the average salary of other private sector jobs in the state. Yet these companies, the source of future economic growth, are lacking the capital they need at a critical juncture in the development process. Many of our competitors, other states and nations, have programs to help address early stage capital needs for life science organizations.
Recommendation: Work with WSIB and key constituents from the life sciences community to explore and act upon solutions to bridging the gap in capital funding in early and emerging Washington life science companies.
WBBA’S 2010 STATE POLICY PRIORITIES