Missouri moves to make state more science and tech friendly

In an announcement outlined Wednesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon unveiled an initiative to grow the state’s science and technology sector through stable and ongoing funding sources. By establishing a dedicated fund for high-tech job growth, Gov. Nixon said the initiative would help nurture existing science and technology companies while generating an attractive environment for more companies.

Dubbed the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA), the proposal is part of Gov. Nixon’s Missouri First Initiative, a policy designed to help the state’s workforce be better equipped for the 21st century economy.

“We face tremendous opportunities to transform our economy for the 21st century, and it is vital that we not only bolster our existing high-tech and innovative employers, but also bring more of these cutting edge companies and their 21st century jobs to our state,” Gov. Nixon said while detailing his proposal in Kansas City. “MOSIRA will help us capitalize on the growth of our existing science and technology companies to reinvest in generating further economic growth in the science and innovation industry sectors, which will be crucial to our future Missouri economy.”

By taking a percentage of the growth in state revenue from a group of science and innovation companies already doing business in Missouri, MOSIRA would allow the Missouri Technology Corporation to reinvest that revenue in the Missouri Technology Investment Fund. The MTC would then look for funding opportunities that would create economic growth in science and tech, focused mainly on biotechnology and life sciences.

According to state officials funding would be reinvested in programs designed to attract science talent to the state, commercialize research and promote tech-focused entrepreneurial activity. Officials also expressed interest in creating a continuum of capital programs that increase access to early-stage seed funds for tech companies looking to get started in the state.

Some of the state’s biggest tech employers include Siemans Water Technologies, Asynchrony Solutions, Express Scripts, Solutia and World Wide Technology.

“Through MOSIRA and our additional Missouri First Initiatives, we will transform the groundwork for our future economy, and investing in 21st century careers will always be an important part of our comprehensive approach,” Gov. Nixon said.

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