Connecticut and Massachusetts invest in health sector


Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a new law yesterday that will create a $200 million bioscience investment fund in the state. The fund will make investments over the next 10 years in the form of grants, equity investments, loans and loan guarantees to foster innovation in smaller companies. Massachusetts is also making investments in the health sector, by providing tax incentives to health IT company aetnahealth in support of their local expansion.

Construction has been underway for the last year at the UConn Health Center to fulfill all aspects of Bioscience Connecticut – the fund approved by the General Assembly in 2011 to create sustainable economic growth based on bioscience research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization.

So far, the project has created more than 700 construction related jobs. The state hopes to neutralize any job losses when construction ends, through the investments made by the fund in local biosciences companies. The fund will look at companies in areas such as therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, bioinformatics and testing.

In Massachusetts, athenahealth, a company which provides cloud-based services for electronic health record, practice management and health care coordination will expand its local presence. To support the company’s expansion, Governor Patrick’s Economic Development Coordinating Council (EACC) approved $9.5 million in tax credits through the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), the state’s investment tax credit program for businesses.

As part of a multi-phase improvement project, athenahealth plans to invest an additional $89 million for building improvements, which will include construction, furnishings and equipment. The company’s expansion will create 1,900 net new full-time jobs over 10 years and retain 1,047 full-time employees in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is working to build out an eHealth economy serving the commonwealth’s many hospital campuses.