BIO 2011 Conference Luncheon
June 28, 2011
Tom Watkins, thank you so very, very much for your outstanding leadership of a great Maryland company, Human Genome Sciences. But also Tom, thank you for your leadership of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board.
A couple of years ago here at Bio we announced in Maryland a $1.3 billion dollar initiative to further accelerate our leadership in life sciences and biotech. And Tom has been a leader of that initiative. There’s lots of states that talk about things like that, but especially in these tough times, to be able to bring together business and governments to accomplish these investments – investments that create jobs, investments in the way we feed, fuel and heal this world of ours, has been one of the real bright spots of my public service to the people of our State.
I want to thank all of you for, how do we say it now, my last year as the Biotech governor. I’m going to be passing my tiara onto another governor tomorrow and I won’t take that away from Jim Greenwood and his announcement, but I do want to thank this organization, and Jim Greenwood, I want to thank you for your leadership.
Bioscience – unlocking our future potential, unlocking moral leadership of this world. You know we are one of the first generations of human beings ever to see the size of our population on this planet double in our lifetimes. That creates enormous pressures, but also enormous opportunities in the ways that we feed, fuel and heal this world of ours and create the jobs and expand the opportunities that give our children a better future than the one that we’ve enjoyed.
In Maryland, we have 1,700 private facilities now – we now have one of the top five largest life science concentrations anywhere in the United States. We have 500-plus privately held bio companies, 58 various federal facilities throughout our State, colleges and universities such as the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins.
We are executing on that ten-year, $1.3 billion plan called Bio 2020. We actually increased last year our biotechnology tax credit, we extended our R&D tax credit. We created the largest single shot of venture capital that we ever have done as a state, and we did it in tough economic times because we know, that there is still some enormous economic opportunity in moving the great ideas from the labs and into the marketplace.
We have a combination of not only location, we have the number one schools in America, so says Education Week magazine three years in a row. We have more Ph.D scientists and engineers per capita than any other state in the nation and it is little wonder then that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce listed Maryland as one of the top states for innovation and entrepreneurship. The Milken Institute says we are one of the top two states for science and technology, and the Kauffman New Economy Index ranks us among the top three.
There are many states that would like to be leaders in your industry – in life science and biotech. In Maryland we’re not talking about being leaders, we’re taking the actions and making the investments, every single day in every single way, to make it so. And I thank you all so much and I welcome you to this remarkable Chesapeake Crescent, thanks very, very much.