Providing an Environment That Helps Biotech Companies Compete in the Global Marketplace
attract and nurture high-tech startups around the Commonwealth,
Kentucky created the DCI within the Cabinet for Economic Development.
DCI manages a statewide network of six regional Innovation and
Commercialization Centers (ICCs) and six local Innovation Centers
(ICs). These public-private partnerships help scientists and
entrepreneurs turn intellectual property into market-ready products.
The ICCs and ICs help entrepreneurs understand the business startup
process, link them to funding sources, and help them make connections
with experts from the business sector, universities, community and
technical colleges, local communities, and state and federal government.
way that Kentucky is attracting biotech companies to the state is by
growing them itself. Through the Kentucky Science and Engineering
Foundation, small Kentucky-based businesses are eligible to apply for
R&D Excellence Program awards under the "emerging technologies"
category. Through a peer-review system, awards ranging from $20,000 to
$50,000 per year are given to businesses in key research and
development focus areas.
The foundation also provides seed
funding to assist Kentucky's small companies in developing competitive,
high-quality Phase 1 and Phase 2 proposals to federal agencies
participating in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and
Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs. Companies
are eligible to apply for up to $4,000 to assist in the preparation of
a federal proposal.
Kentucky's support for high-tech small
business is unsurpassed. For example, Kentucky is the only state in the
nation to specifically match both federal Phase 1 and Phase 2 SBIR-STTR
DCI is now accepting applications from Kentucky-based
companies for state funds to match federal Phase 1 awards made on or
after January 1, 2006. Qualifying awards will be matched by Kentucky up
to $100,000. Starting July 1, 2007, Kentucky will also match qualifying
Phase 2 awards received on or after January 1, 2007, up to $500,000 per
Of course, all the money in the world can't make a
difference if a startup doesn't have a good pool of talent from which
to draw. That's why in the late 1990s, Kentucky created the Research
Challenge Trust Fund, or "Bucks for Brains," and began pouring hundreds
of millions of dollars into its major public universities to attract
top scholars. This new fund has led to a dramatic increase of endowed
chairs and professorships, coupled with enormous increases in research
dollars from other sources.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
and other publications have noted the impressive gains made by U of L
and UK in attracting federal research and developing valuable patents.
UK has ranked among the top universities in the number of startup
companies formed per $10 million in research spending. U of L's 277
percent growth since 1999 in National Institutes of Health funding
ranks first among the nation's top research universities.
The State's Initiatives Are Working and So Are Its Citizens
are one of the many ways Kentucky goes the extra mile. Atlanta-based
Jim Medbery, a senior vice president for the site-consulting firm
Binswanger Corporation, says he speaks regularly with fellow
consultants around the country, and the consensus is that Kentucky has
a lot to offer.
"We all compare notes, and Kentucky always rates
as one of the most pro-business states out there," says Medbery, who
estimates he has been involved in 40 major plant locations in Kentucky.
"We think Kentucky has the best incentive program of any of the states
in the region," he says. "They are very aggressive with regard to
corporate tax abatements and other incentive programs that are designed
to offset the cost of opening and occupying a facility."
out more about how Kentucky can help your biotechnology business grow
or assist you in getting your biotech idea off the ground, contact the
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. After all, there's nothing
Kentuckians like to hear more than the heartbeat of a new business.Deborah Clayton, Commissioner
Dept. of Commercialization and Innovation
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Old Capitol Annex, 300 West Broadway
Frankfort, KY 40601