Few states are as gung-ho about biotechnology as New Jersey. It's got a feisty group of drug developers. It's attracting new companies with a tax credit transfer program (a standard description for an early-stage venture), which allows money-losing biotechs to sell their losses to profitable companies for cash. The state boasts tax credits, grants and loans; subsidizes office space; and offers research funding to boot. Also, in 2004 the state set up its own $10 million life sciences venture fund that offers seed capital to start-ups.
New Jersey has actually handed out $5 million in cold hard cash to help support stem cell research.
The state has cut the number of new jobs biotech companies must create to qualify for a state incentive program to 10 from 25 and extended tax credits for larger drug companies. It's added $50,000 bridge grants to help a biotech company move from Phase I to Phase II. Also, the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey has helped establish an umbrella group--The New Jersey Biotechnology Life Sciences Coalition--to help market the state to the industry.
By law, biotech companies can sell their unused net operating loss and R&D tax credit carry forwards to any state corporation for at least 75 percent of the benefit. That program was recently expanded from $40 million to $60 million. It has also recently expanded its Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies, a science incubator inside The Technology Center of New Jersey, a 50-acre research center opened in 1995.
The Legislature has helped by providing support for stem cell work. New Jersey has actually handed out $5 million in cold hard cash to help support stem cell research; not much, but the first real state money to flow in that direction. Now that Jon Corzine has been sworn in as governor, the industry expects him to pick up the stem cell banner he waved during the campaign and push for hundreds of millions more through the Edison Innovation Fund.