MichBio Report Outlines Path to Continued Life Sciences Industry Investment, Growth
Monday, February 22, 2016
Posted by: Kate Oesterle
A new roadmap aims to reboot efforts to build Michigan’s life sciences industry and compete with similar clusters around the U.S. and the world.
While the industry has come far in the last decade-plus and offers “strong assets,” it remains uncompetitive compared to other states and requires a renewed private- and public-sector effort to grow and meet its potential, according to a report by MichBio,an Ann Arbor-based trade group.
“Michigan must take seriously the opportunity to build its biosciences base, leveraging its already sizeable R&D, manufacturing and supply effort,” states the “Roadmap for Success” prepared by MichBio with Business Leaders for Michigan and the University Research Corridor.
“The state, including policymakers, should join with the private sector, and take bold steps to maintain and enhance Michigan’s capacity for bioscience innovation, commercialization, product development and manufacturing to create high-quality jobs and sustainable economic growth.”
The document outlines a number of short- and long-term of strategies for growing the life sciences industry in Michigan, which as of 2014 directly employed nearly 42,000 people at 1,760 companies in a variety of fields.
Among the key findings in the Roadmap for Success are:
- The industry’s strengths are in academic R&D and technology innovation, plus niche areas such as medical devices and contract research organizations for clinical trials.
- The industry needs to forge stronger ties between its own players “to fully leverage the state’s research, manufacturing and business strengths.”
- A “comprehensive, multifaceted approach is needed to align supply with demand, expand workforce education/development programs, and recruit experienced C-suite talent.”
- A larger pool of capital is needed “through innovative policies and better linkages with investment sources to benefit all phases of the business lifecycle.”
- The state needs to adopt “industry-specific policies and resources” that provide incentives for the formation, development and sustainability of companies. That includes bringing back an R&D tax credit that lawmakers eliminated in 2012 as they reformed the state’s business tax code. Michigan is now just one of six states that lacks an R&D tax credit, the report notes.
- Economic development needs to “aggressively promote” bioscience assets in the state to help grow existing businesses and attract new ventures. The report recommends development of a comprehensive marketing and branding strategy linked to the Pure Michigan brand to showcase the industry in Michigan.