AS PREPARED:
Governor Deval L. Patrick
UMass Life Sciences Grant Announcement
UMass Amherst
Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thank you, Henry for that warm welcome.

I proposed the Life Sciences Initiative in 2007 with the vision to strengthen the Commonwealth’s leadership in life sciences and biotech research, create good jobs at good wages, and bring more innovation and cures from lab bench to bedside.  It was about choosing to shape our future, rather than just leaving it to chance.

Thanks to the work of the Life Sciences Center, so ably led by Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister and to our partnership with the legislature and the business community, Massachusetts is now the world's leading life sciences supercluster.

This past March, the Boston Foundation, along with some of the state’s top economists released a report evaluating our life sciences strategy in its first five years. It concluded that our investment of $350 million of public funds had generated well over a billion dollars of private investment and thousands of jobs.

We have overtaken all of our competitor states in the rate of job growth in the life sciences, even during a global economic crisis.

In just five years’ time Massachusetts has gone from being a leader in the life sciences to being the recognized global leader in the field.

The jobs being created in the life sciences are not just for scientists and PhDs.  As these companies grow they need people with a variety of skills in manufacturing, IT, sales & marketing and other fields.   These jobs need graduates of our vocational/technical schools and our community colleges.

Every month we are welcoming new companies from all over the world that want to do business in Massachusetts.

Why? Because we have a strategy to invest in education, in innovation and in infrastructure, and we have been disciplined about sticking with it.

That’s what today is about.

I am proud to announce a Commonwealth investment of $95 million for UMass Amherst to fit out translational lab space at the campus’ new Life Sciences Laboratories.

In addition, we are investing $5.5 million for the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute at Baystate Medical to support the development of a center of innovation in health IT and technology.  It will focus on advancing public/private-sector partnerships in areas such as health care quality, disease management, sensory monitoring, mobile health and nanotechnology. 

Each of these investments will catalyze private investment and further strengthen our life sciences industry across the entire Commonwealth. 

Everyone in this room understands that we cannot leave our future to chance.  That’s what our life sciences strategy is about.  Investing now to create a better Commonwealth for the next generation.  I have believed from the beginning that we must govern for the next generation, not just the next news cycle or election cycle. 

Congratulations to UMass Amherst and the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute.  I look forward to working with you.

Click here to view the press release.