Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Virginia Gov. McDonnell proposes more biotech funding

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell made biotech initiatives a visible part of a job creation agenda he unveiled Tuesday.

His list of economic development action items includes removing a $3 million cap on certain equity and debt investment tax credits and raising the amount to $5 million in fiscal year 2011.

McDonnell also wants $2 million in fiscal 2011 funding for a business incubator program that would serve biotech companies.

He has expressed support for a bill already introduced that would create an exemption from the capital gains tax for income related to certain angel, corporate or venture investments in science and technology startups, a key issue for young biotech companies that are in a constant search for funding.

In addition, the new governor said he would invest $3 million in bioscience wet lab facilities over the next two years. In a move initiated by former Gov. Tim Kaine, the state is already awarding $3 million from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to the Ignite Institute, a new nonprofit medical research organization, and the Center for Innovative Technology to build roughly 20,000 square feet of new lab space in the CIT’s Herndon building.

McDonnell’s plans for Ignite include $22 million in total funding for the nonprofit through the next five years, as long as Ignite agrees by June 30 to fulfill its pledge to create 415 jobs and invest $200 million in its future campus in Fairfax County.

The funding, announced by Kaine in an economic development gathering with Fairfax County leaders late last year, will be divided into four $5.5 million chunks. Under McDonnell’s proposal, the first $5.5 million chunk will be awarded in fiscal 2012, starting July 1, 2011.

Ignite, which needs to raise roughly $100 million more to help make the planned institute successful, also received a $25 million funding commitment from another major partner, Inova Health Systems.

Washington Business Journal
Vandana Sinha
January 26

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