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Boucher joins life sciences caucus

Updated 10:51 am, Thursday, February 28, 2013
  • From left, Rep. Dan Carter, Sen. Michael McLachlan, Rep. Lonnie Reed, Rep. Tony Hwang, Rep. Janice Giegler, Sen. Toni Boucher and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg at the Legislative Office Building Feb. 20 where they announced the formation of the new Life Sciences Caucus. Photo: Contributed Photo
    From left, Rep. Dan Carter, Sen. Michael McLachlan, Rep. Lonnie Reed, Rep. Tony Hwang, Rep. Janice Giegler, Sen. Toni Boucher and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg at the Legislative Office Building Feb. 20 where they announced the formation of the new Life Sciences Caucus. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-26, has joined other western Connecticut legislators in a new Bipartisan Life Sciences Caucus, which will focus on promoting biotech and medical industries.

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. 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.

"Our goal is to raise the visibility of this job-creating sector and pass policies which unleash its endless possibilities," said state Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-24, a co-chairman. "I'm looking forward to working with pro-business legislators from both sides of the political aisle to discuss policies which can make our economy grow.

"It's something that should be done more often in Hartford. We have an excellent opportunity to make the business environment friendlier in western Connecticut and across the state. If we can improve connectivity among manufacturers, institutions and companies in relevant fields, we can generate new ideas, new partnerships, and new jobs."

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.

Boucher added, "I am pleased to join my colleagues in this important bipartisan effort to advance biotechnology and the pharma industry in Connecticut. 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.

"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 tells 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.