January 7, 2024

Transforming Connecticut: the State’s Strategic Play in Life Science & Biotech

By Nicholas Lo Coco, Senior Manager, Assurance Services

Transforming Connecticut: the State’s Strategic Play in Life Science & Biotech Life Science & Biotech

Amid the conference halls and buzzing network sessions of the 2023 Marcum New England Life Science & Biotech Summit, a consensus was crystal clear: Connecticut has its eyes on the blossoming industry, and the state’s representatives are looking to feed that growth. Connecticut Innovations’ Dan Wagner caught up with Yale’s Josh Geballe and state Senators Christine Cohen and Tony Hwang to discuss the state of the Life Science & Biotech industry in Connecticut and how it has transformed from a nascent industry scattered across the state to a thriving hub.

The discussion highlighted why the panelists believed Connecticut is primed for the next step in the Life Science and Biotech industry. There is real, tangible evidence as to why the industry continues to grow at such a rapid speed.

First off, the talent ecosystem in the state has never been higher. From the focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (“STEM”) in the early education curriculum to the leading scholars at nationally recognized universities such as Yale and UCONN and the migration of companies like Pfizer, Alexion, and others, there is a clear correlation to this rapid growth.

Additionally, Connecticut’s flexibility regarding its geographical location allows the state to attract such talented people. The state offers its residents affordable living and an attractive quality of life that may not be achieved in other locations such as Cambridge, MA, or New York, NY. Further, the wave of remote work has helped retain this top talent and build the industry’s momentum.

Lastly, the increase in the rate of lab space construction in areas like New Haven, Branford, Farmington, and Hartford is indicative of where this industry is moving toward in the future. Additional lab space allows the talent pool to continue building products and companies and creates an ecosystem that empowers innovators.

What are some hurdles the industry faces over the coming years? For one, the need to break the silos between industries and promote synergies across Life Science & Biotech, Healthcare, Software & AI, to name a few. Expanding collaboration across these interdependent ecosystems can create real life-saving solutions. Further, there is a need for continued education surrounding the importance of the industry, including effective legislation to foster growth.

That is why Christine Cohen and Tony Hwang are part of the legislature’s bipartisan Bioscience Caucus, which seeks to strengthen and promote Connecticut’s robust life sciences and biotech industries by formalizing supportive policies and a strong framework. There is much work to be done at the Bioscience Caucus, including discussions surrounding policy topics like I.P. protection, data privacy, security, tax credits (including the angel investor and R&D tax credits), labor laws, and workforce development.

What can we do to push this transformation forward as participants and contributors in this rapidly evolving industry? Engage. Act as a megaphone. Let your representatives know what the industry needs. Know that they are a resource. Promote the industry and its growth in the communities.

With so many bright minds in the room, it is clear that Connecticut’s Life Science & Biotech industry is here to stay.

Related Industry

Life Science & Biotech