Friday, October 07, 2005

Tim Kaine on Biotechnology

As noted below, we are taking a look at what each of the three candidates for governor have posted on their campaign websites (or in media releases) about biotechnology or issues such as tech transfer, R&D tax credits, venture capital, etc.

The relevant page on Tim Kaine’s site is located here:

On that page, dedicated to economic development initiatives, the Kaine Campaign does not seem to have much listed on biotech, except in one reference to projects in Roanoke. Here is the full quote:

Roanoke and New River Valleys

* Support safety and capacity improvements to Interstate 81
* Invest in Virginia Tech, Radford, and the Roanoke Higher Education Center
* Support biotech research through the development of the Carilion Biomedical Institute, a public-private collaboration of Carilion Health Systems, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia
* Support arts and cultural attractions that attract tourism

There is a separate page dedicated to higher education located here:

Elsewhere on the Kaine Campaign site, we did find a media release congratulating the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park on the Philip Morris R&D facility deal. Here is the link for that:

While the websites may not have much detail on biotech issues, it is clear that the candidates are aware of the challenges faciling the industry. When the lieutenant governor spoke at the 2003 Virginia Biotechnology Summit (pictured above), he was able to draw upon his experiences as Richmond's mayor working with the development of the biotech park. Jerry Kilgore also spoke at that same conference, addressing the achievements of forensic science and Virginia's investments in the DNA database.

While it would be great if biotech-related economic development issues had more prominence in the platforms of the candidates, it could also be a double-edged sword. In some other states, biotech policy has been overshadowed by divisive issues such as cloning and stem cell research.

If anyone has other links to the Kaine Campaign’s biotech agenda, please add it to the comments below.

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