CIRM’s primary mission is to develop new stem cell-based therapies for disease. But the process of driving those new therapies has other benefits to the state—economic ones.
Scientists and industry have moved to California due in part to hopes of receiving funding from CIRM, and also to support the growing stem cell research industry. With these companies and new labs come jobs, tax revenue and additional non-CIRM grant money.
A few years ago CIRM commissioned a report to find out how many jobs and associated tax revenues CIRM had created for the state. As we say in our annual report story:
Counting only the first $1.1 billion in funding, by 2014 CIRM’s initiatives are expected to have brought in $200 million in tax revenue to the state and created 25,000 job years—that’s economist speak for employing 25,000 people for a year, or 5,000 people for five years. Those jobs each have ripple effects for the state when employed people pay taxes and buy groceries, electronics and homes.Our story specifically describes research by Robert Wechsler-Reya and Peter Coffey, who set up labs in California to study childhood brain tumors and blindness, respectively.
Wechsler-Reya, who is now director of the Tumor Development program at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, moved into the new Sanford Consortium building partially funded by CIRM (read more about the CIRM-funded facilities here). In our story he said that facility and the collaborations it encourages was one reason to move to California from Duke University:
“One of the amazing things about this place is that there are a lot of interactions not only among academic institutions, but also between academia and industry. It is the kind of thing that I could not have done back east.”Read our story online for more about Wechsler-Reya, Coffey, and The Jackson Laboratory West, which greatly scaled up after receiving a CIRM award in 2009. The most important aspect of these grantees’ work is their progress toward therapies. But it’s good to know that the state’s growing stem cell industry is good for the economy as well as eventually being good for patients.
This is the fifth annual report story we’ve posted. Here are the others:
- Research Progress: Locking out HIV
- Spotlights on Disease: Autism
- Research Progress: Mimicking the pancreas
- Spotlight on Sickle Cell Disease