UConn Today

UConn Health Ceremony Heralds Success of Bioscience Connecticut

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, right, speaks with Dr. Bruce T. Liang, left, dean of the UConn School of Medicine, and Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, UConn Health’s CEO and executive vice president for health affairs, during a ceremony at UConn Health Thursday to celebrate the opening of new biotechnology research space as part of the Bioscience Connecticut initiative. (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health Photo)

Five years after the launch of the major economic and employment initiative Bioscience Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and a cadre of legislators joined University leaders for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the most recent project funded by the effort.

The Sept. 22 ceremony at UConn Health officially opened extensive new research space – 28,000 square feet comprised of 32 laboratories and 40 offices – dedicated to developing new biotechnology concepts into businesses.

Approved in 2011, Bioscience Connecticut allocated $864 million to efforts that would position the state to be a leader in bioscience research and improve residents’ access to world-class medicine. Twenty-one biotech startup companies are now housed on the UConn Health campus, one of three sites in Connecticut for UConn’s Technology Incubator Program (TIP).

“We are happy to report that with your support, UConn Health has reached several major Bioscience Connecticut milestones since breaking ground just over four years ago,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “These projects have helped fuel the economy, grow our research and the biotech industry, and speed product development – leading to increased financial investments back into our state.”

Through TIP, young biotech startup companies have access to state-of-the-art equipment, tools, experts, and shared resources at UConn. TIP offers affordable leases to help accelerate the research, growth, and development of promising innovations, and their path to commercialization. Experienced and skillfully trained graduate and undergraduate students support the new biotech company’s workforce through the TIP Summer Intern Program.

Since 2003, the more than 85 TIP companies have raised more than $50 million in supportive grant funding for their promising products and innovations and more than $45 million in revenue, said Jeffrey Seemann, vice president for research at UConn.

“It’s a critically important part of our economic development activities, and it is the place where UConn will help drive the innovation economy of Connecticut by translating the investments of Bioscience Connecticut and Next Gen Connecticut into research and the creation of new high-tech companies and high-wage jobs,” Seemann said.

Bioscience Connecticut Milestones

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, legislators toured several sites at UConn Health funded by the initiative. Building projects under Bioscience Connecticut have transformed and modernized the campus, officials noted. These include:

“Connecticut has a talented and thriving bioscience workforce,” Malloy said. “Currently, bioscience employs approximately 24,000 people in our state, at hundreds of companies across the state. These jobs generate an additional 40,000 indirect jobs in our state, and as some of you know, these are highly paid jobs.”