By Michelle Deal Winfield
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan that he says will create 16,000 new jobs in life sciences and bio-engineering in New York City.
He made the announcement at the Alexandria Science Research Center in Kips Bay, alongside local elected officials.
The mayor paid homage to former Mayor Bloomberg saying, “We are taking a page from the former mayor’s playbook. Mayor Bloomberg diversified investments to help set up the Cornell Tech Center on Roosevelt Island. It worked. The city will invest in emerging companies to create innovative approaches that will lead to improvements in the health industry. We decided to look for spaces on the East Side in Manhattan and in Long Island City.”
Maria Torres-Springer, president of NYC Economic Development Corporation said the project is expected to generate 9,000 jobs in the life sciences.
“Seven thousand new jobs will be created in related fields like marketing, advertising and training,” she said. “There will also be 7,500 jobs in construction to set up labs.”
According to de Blasio, the average salary would be $75,000 a year. Thirty percent of the jobs will require a high school diploma and/or an associate’s degree. Fifty percent would require a bachelor’s degree.”
Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer suggested that the project use city-owned land and rezone areas for science labs. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito encouraged the mayor to consider El Barrio, East Harlem to house science labs.
The city will offer “Life Sciences NYC” tax incentives to promote affordability rate of rent for companies.
Torres-Springer estimated the potential growth from setting up the Life Sciences sector could yield $6 billion to the city.
The mayor added, “Encouraging companies and having competitions is a good thing. The result is lower prices for drugs and discoveries for cures.”
A summary of the plan:
$100 million to set up an applied life science campus that drives bio-engineering innovations.
$50 million to invest in existing academic medical centers that will train and have the passion for bio-medicine.
$10 million will support at least five life science start-up companies
$20 million will help up to 80 companies by offering seed money to expand and create new jobs.
$7.5 million will be invested to create internships and improve life science curricula at local colleges.
$300 million will be provided to companies as tax incentives and make available affordable space.
Rezone areas to include life sciences site to create a science sector.
$7.5 million will assist companies that cultivate new talent and goods in the five boroughs.
$3.8 million will be used to provide expanded training programs for entrepreneurs.
It will also help the firms compete for funds provided through the National Institute of Health’s Small Business Innovation Research Program.