Monday, July 14, 2003
10 New Companies and An Expansion Funded
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced that $2 million from the Life Sciences Corridor company formation fund was awarded today. The fund, designed to assist former Pfizer scientists and professionals start up new companies, will provide support to 11 proposals creating 10 new companies and spurring the expansion of an existing Michigan life sciences company. The proposals funded will create more than 180 jobs.
“This fund will be the catalyst for starting several new profitable life sciences ventures throughout the state of Michigan and helping to continue Michigan’s rich pharmaceutical heritage,” Granholm said. “Today’s announcement is another step forward in our continuing efforts to encourage all Pfizer workers to stick around Michigan. It is critical to retain this pool of talented, highly educated workers to help Michigan continue to be a magnet for new life sciences and high tech companies.”
The proposals funded all have pharmaceutical ties, but focus on a wide range of specialties including contract research, contract chemistry, drug discovery and pre-clinical profiling. Ten of the proposals funded originated from Kalamazoo County. The remaining project was from Ann Arbor.
The types of activities that were eligible for support from the new fund included:
- business planning, including financial analysis and grant writing assistance;
- expert consulting advice, including market and feasibility studies and legal support;
- recruitment and retention of key personnel; and
- procurement of company space and equipment.
A team of experts organized by the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science reviewed all qualifying proposals and made funding recommendations to the Life Sciences Corridor Steering Committee. The committee made final funding decisions today at its meeting held at the Southwest Michigan First Innovation Center in Kalamazoo.
Keeping these highly educated workers in Michigan has been a priority for Governor Granholm since Pfizer’s acquisition of Pharmacia resulted in the loss of key research positions in several Michigan locations. The Governor unveiled an array of state assistance for Pfizer employees at an event in Kalamazoo last month, including the company formation fund, support for venture capital legislation, a business attraction campaign and a high-tech career fair set for July 17 at the Kalamazoo Radisson.
On May 28, the Life Sciences Corridor Steering Committee unanimously agreed to set aside $2 million of this year’s $30 million in funding to create the emergency fund.
The Michigan Life Sciences Corridor is administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
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