COMPTROLLER LEMBO TESTIFIES IN SUPPORT OF PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH HEALTH AND BIOSCIENCE INNOVATION CORRIDOR
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 | Contact: Tara Downes (860.702.3308 | Tara.Downes@ct.gov)
Comptroller Kevin Lembo, in testimony submitted today, announced his support for an economic development proposal to establish an innovation corridor in Connecticut where private health, bioscience and related industries could improve access to competitively priced ultra-high-speed broadband networks and other technological needs.
An Act Concerning a Bioscience and Health Data Network Collaborative Task Force would encourage entrepreneurship, private investment and the retention of the brightest minds graduating from Connecticut’s institutions of higher education, Lembo said. He thanked members of the state legislature’s Commerce Committee, including the co-chairs, state Sen. Joan Hartley and Rep. Chris Perone, ranking members, State Sen. Scott Frantz and state Rep. Fred Camillo, as well as the Connecticut Technology Council for raising the issue.
"This legislation presents an opportunity to capitalize on Connecticut’s strengths,” Lembo said. "Our state is home to renowned research universities and leaders in the fields of health care and bioscience. Establishing a Health Innovation Corridor will allow these institutions to work collaboratively and will encourage the creation of new businesses eager to tap into the wealth of knowledge, data and opportunities being created nearby.
"Throughout the country we have seen how the advancement and expansion of broadband technology access increases economic development. Over the past few years, I have traveled the state talking to businesses, residents and municipal leaders, all of whom see the benefits of investing in advanced, ultra-high-speed networks in our state.”
Lembo said that, as part of this legislation, he would recommend continued communication with local leaders to ensure that such potential projects also meet the needs of municipalities and the residents and businesses within their borders.
"Collaboration and communication will maximize the impact and efficiency of the Innovation Corridor,” Lembo said. "It is in our collective best interest to explore new ways to grow Connecticut’s economy.”
Lembo said similar economic development plans have already proved successful elsewhere. He pointed to Cleveland, Ohio, where a similar venture created a "Health-Tech Corridor” in 2008. The project has resulted in over 1,800 new jobs and over $4 billion of investment, Lembo said. He said North Carolina has also connected the research universities in their "Research Triangle” in an effort to spur economic development and collaboration in the region.
"With a unified effort, sound planning and creative execution, Connecticut is well positioned to see similar success,” Lembo said.