Life sciences designated a Missouri lead industry

BOSTON, March 27, 2000 -- The State of Missouri has officially designated the life sciences industry as one of Missouri's Lead Industries for purposes of economic development and growth. The action came in an Executive Order issued Friday by Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan and announced today at BIO 2000 in Boston by Joseph L. Driskill, Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

In the executive order, Carnahan ordered each Missouri executive branch department to review how its programs and activities impact the state's life sciences industry and how it can play a role in creating a positive climate for continued growth of Missouri's life sciences industry. A consolidated report prepared by the Department of Economic Development based on each department's life sciences review is due to the Governor no later than May 1, 2000.

Also created by the executive order was an interagency task force charged with facilitating interagency cooperation on behalf of the life sciences. Chaired by the Department of Economic Development, the task force will include representatives of the Department of Education, the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Conservation, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Health and other departments that potentially have a role in promoting life sciences in Missouri.

Speaking at BIO 2000, an international life sciences and biotechnology conference, Driskill noted that Missouri is home to more than 100 life sciences companies, placing it among the top third of all U.S. states in the number of life sciences companies. "A vibrant life sciences industry creates excellent jobs, lifting the state's entire economy and improving the quality of life for all Missourians," he added.

Research funding coming to Missouri from the National Institutes of Health increased 46% between 1995 and 1999 when it reached $316 million. The increase placed Missouri fifth

Contact: Cathy Sullivan
Kupper Parker Communications

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