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HINJ President Testifies at Inaugural Hearing of Assembly Committee

Dean J. Paranicas, President and Chief Executive Officer,

HealthCare Institute of New Jersey

Testimony to the

N.J. Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee

February 1, 2018 – Trenton, State House Annex

Introduction

On behalf of the member companies of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ), thank you for the invitation to speak today at the inaugural hearing of the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee.  It is a privilege to participate in the launch of this important new body.

I would first like to commend Speaker Coughlin for establishing this committee to focus on the issues and needs of New Jersey’s innovation economy, which has a long legacy as a global leader spanning more than a century in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and food processing, all of which have their roots here.

Chairman Zwicker, we appreciate your willingness to take on this key role in helping chart the course for New Jersey’s innovation economy, which we can all agree is critical to the future vitality of our great state and its citizens. 

To the members of the Committee, we thank you for agreeing to invest your time and energy in its work, which is vital to New Jersey reaffirming its standing as a global research hub.

 

About the HealthCare Institute of HINJ)

HINJ is a trade association for the research-based biopharmaceutical and medical technology industry in our state.  We represent 28 of the world’s leading research-based biopharmaceutical and medical device companies.

 

Life Sciences in New Jersey

New Jersey has long been called “the medicine chest of the world” for its internationally renowned cluster of life sciences companies.

Thirteen of the world’s top 20 research-based biopharmaceutical companies have their global, North American or U.S. headquarters in New Jersey or maintain a significant presence in our state.  Similarly, 12 of the world’s top 20 medical technology companies have a headquarters in New Jersey or maintain a significant presence here.

The $108.7 billion in total economic output supported by the biopharmaceutical sector in New Jersey (in 2014) – #2 behind California – represents almost 20% of New Jersey’s gross domestic product (GDP).  More than 10 percent of all jobs in New Jersey, totaling more than 400,000, are estimated to relate, directly or indirectly, to the biopharmaceutical and medical technology sectors.

Pharmaceutical companies alone purchase more than $6.5 billion worth of goods and services from local New Jersey vendors.  HINJ member companies spend on average $1.5 billion annually on capital construction, employing thousands of organized labor tradespeople.  Our members contribute more than $500 million annually to health care, educational and cultural non-profit organizations throughout the state.

This economic impact and these socio-economic benefits have grown over the past 130 years, in large measure due to New Jersey’s long history as a leader in research and development and innovation.  However, over the past several decades, other states and countries, looking to redefine their own economies, have become much more competitive in attracting life sciences investment.

Boston, San Francisco, North Carolina and San Diego/La Jolla primary among them, have become hotspots for biopharmaceutical research in the U.S.  We know them by their popular names – Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle, the Route 128 Corridor – where public and private research universities are the hubs of “innovation ecosystems” that support the R&D needs of innovator industries, supported by the state, with those industries setting up shop nearby on the spokes.

This outmigration of our R&D was a key reason for the 2012 reorganization of higher education in the state, for which we thank the Legislature and the previous Administration.  The reorganization was the catalyst for building out our universities’ research infrastructure, as you heard earlier from our university representatives. Likewise, the Higher Education Bond Act recognized the long-overdue need to invest in our higher education infrastructure.

Most recently, thanks to the support of the Legislature, money was appropriated in the current state budget to construct a master database of all university research and assets in the state.  Since other states have found great value in this tool, we recommend that the Committee invite the EDA to make a future presentation on this project.

 

Conclusion

What are the implications of these developments?  That New Jersey will have a more competitive life sciences innovation ecosystem to support our home industry and keep the jobs and benefits that come from having the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry here.

The state has made tremendous progress and we commend our university partners for stepping up to support our industry.  But more needs to be done.

Importantly, the state needs to send a unified message.  Contradictory policies and messaging serve to undermine the state’s perceived commitment, and any doubt will lead investment to go elsewhere.  A state’s attitude goes a long way in setting the tone – in our case, New Jersey needs to embrace the life sciences as Texas embraces oil and gas and Michigan embraces the automobile industry.

Keys to continuing the progress we have made include:

  • Continued investment in our universities;
  • Promoting the work of our university researchers;
  • Encouraging STEM education to build a steady pipeline of new talent to support our innovator industries;
  • Working together to attract more federal grants; and
  • Ensuring that our university and industry leaders continue to work with each other.

We are very encouraged that the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee is in business to focus on the needs of New Jersey’s innovation economy. As the Committee undertakes its important work, please consider HINJ and its member companies to be resources to you.

Thank you for allowing us to participate in today’s meeting and please accept our best wishes for great success, because if you succeed, we all succeed.

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[Note:  For additional information, please contact Haskell Berman, HINJ Senior Vice President — State Affairs at 732-729-9619, ext. 348, or berman@hinj.org.]

 

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