Boston Science Jobs Top in the Nation
Posted on June 17, 2009
Boston science jobs are among the top in the nation, but the area is working hard to keep that title.
The Milken Institute recently released a study that found the Boston area is the number one region in the country for life sciences. However, other regions are beginning to catch up. So what are the City of Boston and the State of Massachusetts doing to keep their lead?
In 2008, Gov. Deval Patrick and other officials created the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative. The initiative is a 10-year, $1 billion package of investments and incentives that was designed to strengthen the state’s role in the life sciences industry and help the economy, according to an article by The Boston Globe.
That initiative led to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which is meant to create jobs, drive innovation and support science that could potentially improve the human condition. So far, the center has invested $46 million in state funding, leveraged $357 million in private and federal investment and is helping to create 950 jobs for companies, research institutions and those in the building trades.
During the past year, the center has committed $10.6 million in matching grants to academic institutions, making for a total investment of more than $21 million. This money is used to support the work of young scientists, help institutions recruit top faculty and support collaborative research projects between academic institutions and industry.
In addition, the center has awarded $3.4 million in accelerator loans to seven early-stage life sciences companies. The program, which garnered applications from 88 companies, provides working capital. The companies that were selected cover everything in the life sciences, including biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics.
The Life Sciences Initiative has brought new business to the State of Massachusetts. Last year, RainDance Technologies moved from Connecticut to Lexington, Mass., creating 54 jobs. The center also funded a collaborative research project between RainDance and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
On top of that, the center has funded $15 million worth of capital projects, including the renovation of the Loeb Laboratory at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole; the creation of the New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory in Grafton at Tufts Veterinary School and improvements to the wastewater system at the Framingham Technology Park. The center also invested $8.2 million to establish an international Embryonic Stem Cell Bank and Registry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.
The center also recently created the Life Sciences Internship Challenge, which will fund between 100 and 200 interns this summer.