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Snub for NYC biotech hub

Plan for downtown bioscience center popular with all but state legislators.

Barbara Nasto(barbaranasto@yahoo.com)

With some fanfare, New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver announced on October 2 that the state would award $5 million to launch the Lower Manhattan Bioscience Project, a public/private initiative intent on providing New York City bioscience with a downtown address.

Many observers quickly noted that the sum was somewhat meager when compared to the project's estimated $90 million price tag, and in particular when compared to the $110 million in state discretionary funding recently allotted to building a life sciences center in Buffalo, located in far northwestern New York, $20 million awarded in late September to foster biotechnology in upstate Syracuse, and $48 million granted at the same time to Long Island biotech.

Some Lower Manhattan Bioscience Project supporters believe the plan for a downtown bioscience center was short-changed because governor Pataki and state legislators saw fit to "politicize the distribution process," according to Jonathan Bowles, Research Director...

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