Early Briefing: Investing in Biotech

*Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley outlined a strategy to invest $1.1 billion in the state's bioscience industry over the next decade or so, expanding tax credits, bolstering stem cell research and providing new support for start-ups. Several elements of the plan would require legislative approval.

The plan includes increasing its biotech investment tax credit, investing in stem cell research, increasing incubator space and investing in a life sciences facility.

*Senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus Monday criticized a compromise plan for the proposed merger of the XM and Sirius satellite radio companies, saying the deal does not provide enough opportunities for minority-owned programming.

XM and Sirius have agreed, among a series of other concessions, to lease 4 percent of their radio spectrum, or 12 channels, for programming run by minorities and women. Members of the black caucus on Capitol Hill have been arguing for the merged company to lease five times that amount, or 20 percent, to companies owned by racial minorities.

*Virginia Tech plans to build a major research center in Ballston as part of an effort to expand the university's offerings and influence in the Washington area. The center will use high-performance computing to delve into issues such as transportation, public health and national security, James Bohland, vice president and executive director of Virginia Tech's operations in the national capital region, said Monday.

The center will bring 150 researchers, faculty and staff members to the area. But that is just the beginning, said Bobbie Kilberg, president and chief executive of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. "It will really help us in promoting Northern Virginia as a destination for federal research dollars. Over time, hopefully ... that means jobs."

By Terri Rupar  |  June 17, 2008; 8:06 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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