McAuliffe launches bioscience initiative
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has begun a campaign designed to boost the commonwealth’s bioscience industry.
The governor announced the Virginia Bioscience Initiative during a roundtable discussion on the commercialization of university bioscience research Thursday at the state Capitol.
“The bioscience industry in Virginia is strong, and can be even stronger with this focused initiative,” McAuliffe said in a statment. “Our charge today is to use the commonwealth’s extensive assets, including our excellent research universities and world class businesses, to catalyze the growth of this strategic sector and the new Virginia economy.”
He described the initiative as a collaborative, multi-year effort involving state agencies, Virginia universities and private research organizations.
The program’s goals include raising the profile of the Virginia bioscience industry, enhancing incentives for bioscience businesses, using existing assets to create new opportunities, developing a bioscience workforce, and promoting commercialization of university research.
Another aim is creating a Virginia Ag Bio Initiative with a Virginia Ag Bio Advisory Committee helping industries that use bioscience in producing food and fuel.
According to a Battelle Bio study completed this year, Virginia’s biotechnology industry employed more than 26,500 industry workers in 1,451 businesses in 2012.
The study shows the agricultural feedstock and chemicals subsector in Virginia had double-digit employment gains from 2007 to 2012. The subsector involves industries that are using biochemistry and biotechnology for producing products ranging from food to fuel.