The Jackson Laboratory’s plan to build a state-of-the-art personalized medicine research center on the Health Center’s campus was listed among the “Top 10 Breakthrough Victories of 2011,” in a recent issue of Site Selection magazine, one of the leading news sources for international corporate and economic development issues.
According to the magazine, the annual top 10 list salutes the “best corporate facility projects in the world, judged by investment, high-value and high-volume job creation, creativity in negotiations and incentives, regional economic impact, competition and speed to market.”
As such, the Jackson Lab project was listed alongside projects including Amazon.com’s plans to double its workforce in Tennessee and Intel’s $5 billion plan for a new campus in Arizona.
“While Connecticut recognized from the beginning that the partnership with Jackson Labs had the potential to not only create strong and sustainable economic growth but also vastly enhance our research strength in personalized medicine, it is gratifying to see the project receive international recognition,” said Thomas Callahan, the Health Center’s vice president and strategy officer for Bioscience Connecticut.
The partnership will be called the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. It includes collaborative research with the Health Center, the University of Connecticut, Yale University and others. The new facility will be built on the Health Center’s lower campus. Construction will start in 2013 and is expected to be completed in late 2014. Until then, a cadre of researchers and administrators will be renting space on the Health Center campus, effective this summer.
“This initiative will enable Connecticut to assume a position of global leadership in developing new medical treatments tailored to each patient’s unique genetic fingerprint,” added Dr. Frank M. Torti, the Health Center’s executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine. “Together with Bioscience Connecticut, it clearly is a new day for the Health Center.”
It is estimated that the Jackson project will create at least 300 positions within 10 years, of which approximately 30 percent will be senior scientist positions. It’s also estimated that the project will create 661 research-related jobs, as well as 842 construction jobs and an estimated 6,200 spinoff and indirect jobs.
In the Site Selection piece, Mike Hyde, the company’s vice president for advancement, said the Connecticut plan came to fruition at the right time. Earlier last year, talks to establish a similar center in Florida had fallen through.
“We had really not intended to explore another opportunity immediately, but the people from Connecticut were extremely well organized, persuasive and thoughtful and set themselves apart,” Hyde says in the article which also applauds the passage of Bioscience Connecticut.
Introduced by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy last May and approved by the General Assembly in June, Bioscience Connecticut is a sweeping plan to transform all aspects of the Health Center in an effort to meet pressing health care needs, create lasting jobs and intensify research, innovation and commercialization.
The Jackson project is seen by many as the first return on investment for the state’s support for Bioscience Connecticut.