"We Work for Health"
Bioscience Innovation in Maryland
June 22, 2010
Peter Greenleaf and everyone at MedImmune, thank you very, very much for what you do. I’ll tell you, if you want to see an example of Maryland’s economy continuing to move forward, walk the halls of MedImmune. It is really a beautiful reflection of the diversity that is our State, our leadership in cutting edge science and healing. Peter, thanks so much. It’s not easy to be a CEO in these difficult times and to lead your company forward. But I thank you so much for what you’re doing along with your team at MedImmune: lifesaving work about which everyone in our State is rightfully proud.
I want to thank Don Fry for his leadership of the Greater Baltimore Committee. It was the Greater Baltimore Committee years ago that recognized that we have a virtual wishbone offense because of the University of Maryland on the west side and Johns Hopkins on the east side for job creation in the life sciences and biotech. And the Greater Baltimore Committee has never veered away from the importance of this industry in our State’s very diverse economy.
And thank you Kathy Snyder with the Chamber.
Fred Mason, it’s great to join you and your entire command staff, who have come here to the World Trade Center. Fred, thank you. You’re really bringing out the big guns when Ernie and Darren and Donna all show up here.
We’re joined by Shawn Tarrant who has been a leader in our State Legislature on these issues.
Congressman Gephardt, thank you for your leadership in our nation and thank you for your leadership on these issues. And for coming here and recognizing through the efforts here today Maryland’s leadership. It’s very important to us. I also want to thank your team at the Council for American Medical Innovation as well as everyone with We Work for Health, …. thank you for recognizing the good things we’re doing as a State.
Nothing makes us feel quite so good in a place that becomes pathologically modest from time to time, than to have national leaders or people from other states recognize the things we’re doing well. And there are many things we’re doing well.
Our flag, Congressman, has a distinctive black and white, red and gold, which I once heard described in this way: that the black and white represents the shades of our diversity, that the red represents the red blood of humanity that all of us share as children of one God, and the gold represents the opportunity we have to be able to work together to make this world a better place for our children, and our children’s children.
And you see that demonstrated in the life sciences. You see that in healing, you see that in the innovation economy.
I’ve got some good news for you. You want to hear some good news? Not only does Batelle say we’re a leader in terms of life sciences and biotech and innovation and healing, but we have actually just come off of the third positive month of job creation in a row, in our State. (Applause.) This is the first three months in a row of positive job creation that we’ve seen since 2006 -- I do believe it was January, February, March, if memory serves me correctly.
All these things, these advances – like moving our unemployment rate down from 7.5 down to 7.2 – they’re not the product of chance, they’re the product of choice. And tough choices often well made, especially in tough times, to get us to the other end of this recession so we can start creating jobs again, knowing that there’s nothing more important in this world than a home and nothing more critical for protecting that home than a job.
Advancing the Life Sciences in Maryland
We’re all here today because we believe in the enormous lifesaving job creating potential of life sciences and biotech. Advances that are revolutionizing the way we feed, fuel and heal our world.
In our grandparents’ day, if they looked at some of the things that we see coming out of the pipeline now, they would say that those are nothing just a little bit short of miraculous cures. And yet they’re happening all around us.
I want to talk to you briefly about the opportunities that we have as Americans and especially as Marylanders about our assets as Marylanders and about some of the items underscored by prior speakers,… the importance of investing in skills, the importance of investing in innovation.
I once heard Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, who frequents Baltimore, a renowned American voice on our potential, say that our future moral leadership of this world is going to be determined not by how many smart bombs we rain against our enemies halfway around the world. It’s going to be determined by how many smart, educated, compassionate, hands and innovative cures we can extend to the most vulnerable of our neighbors all around the world. And what Dr. Sachs talks about is unleashing the “weapons of mass salvation.”
One of the great ironies of our times is that all of the big scary “globals” -- global recession, global pandemic, global flu, global food shortages -- all of those things also have within them the seeds of a tremendous amount of job creation and economic potential if we harness the challenges of our times in our capacity -- because of our diversity -- to innovate, to create, to market and to reach out to the rest of the world.
Our great task as Americans and Marylanders is to continue to invest in innovation so that we can keep it as one of our country’s greatest competitive economic strengths.
In Maryland, we are focused on creating and saving jobs every day, and improving the conditions that allow businesses like MedImmune and other companies to be able to do that.
And it’s my understanding that many of our strategies are similar -- listening to Congressman Gephardt -- to those outlined in the “Gone Tomorrow” report.
In Maryland, we are home to some of the world’s leading institutions of science and discovery and learning, including virtually all major Federal research and regulatory agencies that are so critical to this particular sector. In this building is housed the Maryland BioTechnology Center. It’s on the seventh floor for those of you that would like to visit on your way out and start a new company and create jobs.
It is no coincidence that we are also home to one of the largest per capita clusters of life science companies in America, with nearly 500 bioscience companies working at the cutting edge of science,… from Human Genome Sciences’ work on lupus drug to Novavax and MedImmune’s work on H1N1.
We’re also home to one of America’s most highly skilled workforces, a result of building what Education Week magazine has named two years in a row, in the middle of a recession, the best public school system in the United States of America.
And just the other day Newsweek said that no other State has more of its high school students enrolled in advanced placement courses (Applause.)
So why do we invest in education when times are tough? Why don’t we just take a flyer and say, you know what, it’s just too hard, we can’t afford to make college more affordable right now. We can’t afford to invest in our school system. It’s because those investments are the very thing that have us leading the nation out of this recession and creating jobs.
It’s our belief that the most important and effective investments that we can make in the biosciences and innovation are in the creativity, ingenuity, and skills and education of our
That’s why Batelle has recognized our leadership. That’s why the Milken Institute, in the middle of this recession, moved us from a fourth place ranking in life sciences and biotech to second place.
We’re making record investments this year in K-12 education. And, yes, $1.3 billion in school construction, the most that we’ve ever invested in a four year period of time. (Applause.)
We’ve nearly doubled the number of kids taking AP courses in the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math. Alone among 50 states, we’re the only state to have frozen college tuition; not one, not two, not three, but four years in a row. (Applause.)
And I appreciate what so many of you in this room have done to help us realize our action plan that moves us down the road for the vision of Bio 2020.
It was a vision that we laid out before the tsunami of a recession hit. But it’s one we continue to pursue. It’s a $1.3 billion investment. We also have a $70 million stem cell research fund, one of the most active -- might not be the biggest, but it’s one of the most active in the country.
And last, but certainly not least, we also have been spurring innovation by doing things like increasing our biotech tax credit this year from $6 million to $8 million,… And like reauthorizing our R&D Tax Credit for a decade to provide that permanency, that stability, that ability for people to plan. (Applause.)
And we also created this year, because of the pain being suffered by so many moms and dads that for no fault of their own are out of work, we created a new hiring tax credit for any company -- large, medium, small, family owned -- that hires an unemployed Marylander off the unemployment roles. It’s a $5,000 credit.
As I conclude, I just wanted to close with one other new idea we’ve put out there this year and that is InvestMaryland. Which percolated up actually through the State Legislature this year.
The goal is to allow insurance companies to forward-pay some of the taxes that they know they’re already liable for in years out. And then we take those dollars and invest them in a venture fund, so that we can capitalize on our leadership and innovation to create more jobs more quickly than we otherwise would be able to create.
We are first in the nation in Federal research and development dollars. And the gap, Congressman, that you talked about between that research and development and the translation of that into job creation is a big priority for us as well.
Imagine if we were able to say that we were number one not only in research and development, but also in the translation science that leads to jobs.
I think our best days are ahead of us. A lot of these cures are things that people see as -- our grandparents would see as miraculous. But they’re happening here because of the choices that we make. We have a stronger economy than most, we are coming through this recession in advance of others. And most importantly, we have the opportunity to make this world a better place for our children and theirs.
So I leave you with these words from the poet who said:
So hope for a great-sea-change
On the far side of revenge
Believe that a farther shore
Is reachable from here
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.
And believe that as One Maryland we can make the choices that allow us to move forward together.
Thanks very, very much. (Applause.)