Once again, California puts up for biotechnology while other states content themselves with debate or small assistance programs. There was nothing small about California's recent $150 million loan to the state's Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Or the institute's $45 million lineup for new research projects from the seed capital offered by private supporters; or the extra $80 million in grants that are being readied. California is offering tangible support to back cutting edge science in the absence of federal assistance. In one week, California hit and then passed the federal government as the largest supporter of stem cell research in the U.S.

"California has set the pace for other states around the country looking to play a leading role in biotechnology."

California has set the pace for other states around the country looking to play a leading role in biotechnology. That would help explain Texas Gov. Rick Perry's proposal to funnel $3 billion into cancer research, supporting efforts at leading centers like M.D. Anderson in Houston. And it clearly helped guide newly elected New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer to come up with a $2 billion stem cell proposal for his state. When Washington (see below) announced its effort in promoting the life sciences, it noted the state program matched California's on a per capita basis.

Competition is key to economic development, and California has raised the bar in ways that will enrich the industry for years to come. And if the courts will clear the way for the state's $3 billion stem cell program, you can expect even more states to follow.


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