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 government.
way that Kentucky is developing biotech companies in 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, dollar-for-dollar, both federal Phase 1
and Phase 2 SBIR-STTR awards.
DCI is now accepting applications
from Kentucky-based companies for state funds to match federal Phase 1
and Phase 2 awards made on or after January 1, 2008. Qualifying Phase 1
awards will be matched by Kentucky up to $100,000. Phase 2 awards
received on or after January 1, 2008, will be matched up to $500,000
per year for up to two years.
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 fund has led to a doubling
or tripling of endowed chairs and professorships, coupled with enormous
increases in research dollars from other sources.
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
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, said 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 more than 40 major plant locations in
"We think Kentucky has the best incentive program of
any of the states in the region," says Medbery. "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
To find out more about how Kentucky can help your
biotechnology business grow or assist you in getting your biotech idea
off the ground, just contact us. After all, there's nothing Kentuckians
like to hear more than the heartbeat of a new business.
Deborah Clayton, Commissioner,Department of Commercialization & Innovation
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Old Capitol Annex, 300 West Broadway
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 800-626-2930 Fax: 502-564-3256