By Greg Bordonaro
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed support for Connecticut's fledgling stem cell industry Tuesday, saying the state should maintain its backing of research and development beyond the 10-year, $100 million investment already committed to the industry.
"Connecticut supports you and your work," Malloy said to an audience of scientists, researchers and business officials at the StemCONN 2011 conference, which is state's annual gathering of the stem cell industry. "We see great hope and promise in what you are doing."
The event at the Marriot in Farmington comes five years into the 10-year, $100 million down payment Connecticut committed in 2005 to grow stem cell research efforts in the state. Most of that money has been funneled to Yale, UConn and Wesleyan University researchers.
One of the hot topics discussed Tuesday morning at StemCONN was the need for the state to eventually commercialize some of its stem cell research in order to grow more jobs and investment within the industry. There was recognition, however, that stem cell related research is risky, and that it can take decades before a stem cell therapy goes from the lab to the market.
For his part, Malloy said the state's efforts to overhaul its economic development functions will be centered, in part, on growing the medical, biotech, bioscience industries.
"There is precious little that we won't do to compete with Boston or San Diegeo or anywhere else in the world," Malloy said.