Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday enacted a 10-year, $1 billion life science initiative that includes $500 million of bonding to support capital projects.

The borrowing plan will help finance a stem cell bank to be utilized by eight commonwealth hospitals and higher educational institutions for research, along with other publicly owned facilities at colleges and universities. The state is already home to numerous public and private higher educational research facilities, including Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts system, along with biotechnology companies.

Another $250 million will create the Massachusetts Life Sciences Investment Fund to support loans, grants, and investments to stimulate bio-technology research and development. In addition, the state will offer $250 million of tax incentives over the next 10 years to certified life science projects.

Officials anticipate the $1 billion investment in bio-tech industries and academic research will help spur employment and business opportunities in the Bay State while supporting potential scientific advancement against diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's.

"With this initiative we take our rightful place as a global leader in the life sciences," Patrick said in a press release. "There is no place in the world with as great a concentration of life sciences talent, resources and vision as Massachusetts. With these resources and the collaboration and support of the industry, academia, business and government we are on our way to helping find new cures for diseases, creating new jobs, and positioning ourselves for long-term economic growth."

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