Schwarzenegger Looks to Biotech Jobs as Source of Economic Growth
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) touted strong job growth in the state's biotechnology industry during a tour of a stem cell lab in Carlsbad on Monday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Schwarzenegger said that California's life sciences industry attracted $3.2 billion in venture capital investments in 2007, which was half of the nationwide total. The industry continues to grow, even as overall unemployment rises statewide, he said.
The governor said his appearance at the stem cell facility will be a starting point for a roundtable discussion with business leaders about how the state can support further growth in the biotech industry.
The governor added that California's $3 billion investment in stem cell research, through Proposition 71, is helping to attract worldwide talent and fuel potentially lifesaving research. In total, 240,000 residents are employed in 5,500 life sciences companies, including those that produce therapies, medical devices, diagnostics and tools.
David Gollaher, head of the California Healthcare Institute, said that support for the state's higher education system is necessary to ensure continued growth in the biotech industry. Academic institutions make discoveries that companies look to develop into products, but many colleges are concerned about funding under the state's budget crunch, he said (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/12).