Deval Patrick’s new front-page $1B state bio-tech initiative consists primarily of funding for academic brick and mortar, with $50M per year in state-sponsored research grants, administered by a panel of
state hacks friends of Deval. Here is the pith of the Boston Globe story:
Over 10 years, the state would issue $500 million in bonds to pay for [new] capital investments at public institutions and other facilities. It would also spend $25 million a year on direct research grants and offer $25 million annually in tax credits to biotech companies that promise to create jobs in Massachusetts.
Coincidentally also in today’s Globe is a story about the condition of past state investments in academic brick and mortar:
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, already in the middle of a building boom, still needs an additional $1.8 billion in the next decade and beyond to keep aging buildings in shape, to add new facilities, and to maintain its infrastructure, according to a report released yesterday…The report, prepared by UMass, states that half of the 140 academic and administrative buildings at UMass-Amherst require immediate attention for various problems, including leaky roofs, malfunctioning heating systems, and out-dated laboratories and classrooms.
And in Deval Patrick’s Boston Globe Op Ed column today about his new plan we read:
Finally, when an idea is ready to become reality, we will help guide it to the marketplace. Breakthroughs are often lost in investment gaps typical of the movement from early academic research to industry development. We will designate grants to translate discoveries into applications and support partnerships to move new ideas along.
“Often lost in investment gaps”? Huh? Governor, what do you think all the venture capitalists and private research labs dotted all over Boston are doing? Playing tiddly-winks? All the biotech venture capital firms in the Boston area (not to mention the Bay Area) will now have to compete with Deval Patrick’s Life Sciences Board. They are shaking in their boots at the prospect, no doubt.
The $1B would be better spent improving maintenance on the MBTA or filling potholes. Venture capitalists and biotech researchers won’t do that, but it will benefit their work.