Susan Windham-Bannister on the State of the State’s $1B Life Sciences Initiative, Part II

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aware. I really can’t comment. I’m not aware of any major impact he’s had.

X: Why should life sciences executives care who gets elected as governor of Massachusetts next year?

SW-B: Governor Patrick has been a solid champion of the life sciences cluster here in Massachusetts. He recognized early on during his first campaign the importance of this sector. He promised in 2007 during BIO [one of the industry’s largest meetings] when it was in Boston that he was going to work with the Legislature to try and get this $1 billion initiative enacted. He succeeded in doing so the following year. He’s consistently attended BIO, and he missed this year at BIO only because of the drinking water issue in Massachusetts. So I think he made totally the right decision. But before that he was the only governor who had consistently attended the industry meetings. So I guess that we could only hope that another governor would be as supportive as Governor Patrick.

X: What do you think are the potential consequences for the Life Sciences Center if Patrick isn’t reelected?

SW-B: I think it’s too early to tell. I don’t think that we’re hearing from any of the candidates on what their specific positions are. We know that Charlie Baker has been very, very engaged at least in the healthcare community. So from his vantage point, as the former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim, he certainly understands the benefits of better treatments, therapies, and cures on the cost of care, affordability. But it’s too early to tell. I don’t think they’ve come out with any definitive positions.

X: You were heavily in Governor Patrick’s corner during his previous gubernatorial race. What are you doing to help him get reelected?

SW-B: I am doing this job well. I think that is the very best thing we can do to support the governor, to demonstrate that this initiative has great value and can achieve the objectives that he envisioned for it. [Windham-Bannister later added in an e-mail that she would also be contributing her time and money to the governor’s campaign—Eds.]

X: How has the Life Sciences Center been able to balance its mission to grow the life sciences industry in the state with political pressures to distribute its resources throughout the state?

SW-B: When you look at the distribution of our investments, I think that has created a great deal of … Next Page »

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