“We want to do all we can to create opportunities that will keep these bright and talented Pfizer workers in Michigan,” said Gov. Jennifer Granholm. “Helping dislocated Pfizer workers begin new companies keeps their talent in Michigan, creates new jobs and enhances our economic strength. This is an excellent example of making opportunity out of challenge.”
On May 28, the Life Sciences Corridor Steering Committee unanimously agreed to set aside $2 million of this year’s $30 million in funding to create the emergency fund. Keeping the highly educated workers in Michigan has been a priority for Granholm since Pfizer’s acquisition of Pharmacia resulted in the loss of key research positions in several Michigan locations.
The directions for submitting applications for the fund, including the list of review criteria, are available on the MEDC Web site at medc.Michigan.org/lifescience.
Electronic applications for the funding need to be submitted by June 18 at 5 p.m. The types of activities that the new companies can apply for to get support from the new fund include:
- Business planning, including financial analysis and grant writing assistance.
- Expert consulting advice, including market and feasibility studies and legal support.
- Recruitment and retention of key personnel.
- Procurement of company space and equipment.
Funds will only be awarded to proposals with merit that seek to establish companies in the pharmaceutical or related life science fields.
A team of experts organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science will review all qualifying proposals. The reviewers will make their funding recommendations to the Life Sciences Corridor Steering Committee at a meeting to be held in July.
In addition to the set aside amount for Pfizer workers, this year’s Michigan Life Sciences Corridor funding assisted a wide array of innovative proposals including a chemical test for the early detection of cancer, novel treatments of prostate cancer and the creation of a center specializing in new molecular diagnostic techniques for pancreatic cancer.