By Ron Leuty (San Francisco Business Times) -- Even as another state budget crisis looms, biotech leaders are requesting $150 million for earliest-stage entrepreneurs with a plan to fund three incubators operated by the University of California system.
The program is part of a 12-point plan -- including California State University-connected biotech job training centers -- pushed by industry group BayBio as a means to keep biotech investments flowing into California. BayBio President Matt Gardner said the organization is asking state officials to fund the incubators at $150 million over 10 years -- $30 million for establishing each incubator and $60 million in operations -- with the private sector kicking in cash, space or services as well.
The state's tight budget is a challenge, Gardner said, but allowing that to stall efforts to help early-stage entrepreneurs also could dampen the biopharma industry's long-term economic impact.
"It's certainly pushing the boulder uphill," Gardner said. "But it doesn't change the fact that we know exactly what the opportunity is long-term for California to capture. If we opt out of capturing those opportunities year after year, at some point they just pass us by."