Legislators form Life Sciences Caucus

State Senator Toni Boucher  of Wilton (R-26) is part of a new bipartisan Life Sciences Caucus. Chaired by Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24), the panel includes Rep. David Arconti (D-109), Rep. Dan Carter (R- 2) and Rep. Janice Giegler (R-138). Its aim is to  promote public policy that supports economic growth and scientific innovation in the state.

Connecticut has a strong presence in many of the industries that fall under the banner of life sciences, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies and devices, and life systems technologies, according to a press release from the group. The Life Sciences Caucus will support the growth and expansion of these industries by meeting to discuss state policy and inviting local and national experts to come speak about their vision for the future of these industries in Connecticut.

“I am pleased to join my colleagues in this important bipartisan effort to advance bio technology and the pharma industry in Connecticut,” Ms. Boucher said. “A few of us had previously worked to create tax incentives for R&D to help spur fledgling startups that attempt to transfer innovations from the lab to the marketplace, but further initiatives are necessary. A Connecticut educated workforce and leading higher education institutions have the potential to emulate the technology corridors of California, North Carolina and Massachusetts. This dedicated legislative caucus, with members from both sides of the aisle, can become a sounding board and advocacy group to reduce barriers to growth in our state.

“My previous experience with a marketing firm whose focus was on startup bio tech firms in Southern California tell me that bringing higher education, private industry and government leaders together that “get it” can make positive change and help create a more conducive environment for growth in this important area. We are in an exciting pioneering phase of tremendous breakthroughs in medicine. This caucus should help keep the focus on helping to grow this industry in a smart, responsible way and support a strong foundation for future growth.”

The caucus will focus on exploring the evolving nature of the life sciences, understanding Connecticut’s strengths and weaknesses in the field, and learning about what measures other states have taken to establish themselves as leaders in life sciences industries.