January 2018 DECD Business Edge
January 2018 DECD Business Edge
January 2018
From the Commissioner's Desk
Connecticut got some great news recently when CVS announced it will keep Aetna in Hartford following their acquisition of the company – and establish Hartford as the merged entity’s “center of excellence for insurance.” Previously, Aetna had planned to move its headquarters to New York. That’s a big vote of confidence. And we appreciate that CVS understood the depth and breadth of industry know-how in our state.

And, while we were disappointed by the news that Connecticut did not make Amazon's top 20 sites for its HQ2, Amazon’s feedback was clear: our application was strong; we’re doing all the right things in the state
; and we would be an ideal location for a smaller corporate headquarters.
These outside observations reinforce the fact that we cannot let up on our efforts to improve our economy. One of those efforts is the work of the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, created as part of the recently enacted state budget, which on March 1 will issue its recommendations for stabilizing state finances and promoting the state’s competitiveness.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to discuss the state’s economic-development strategy with the commission. Its members, many of whom lead major Connecticut companies, are faced with a daunting task: they must come up with actionable ideas – all in a two-month period! Based on our interactions and the high quality of the questions and suggestions they are discussing, I believe their ideas, if acted upon, will have a positive impact on our state’s economy and help us to keep moving in the right direction.

New report: Manufacturing Innovation Fund has helped create and retain 4,496 jobs
Since its creation in 2014, the Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund has helped 897 companies create and retain 4,496 jobs, according to the newly release MIF Annual Report. Gov. Dannel Malloy and DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith unveiled the report in an event at Manchester-based ACMT Inc., which has used several MIF programs to help fuel its growth.
Over 7,300 workers updated their skills through the MIF's Incumbent Worker Training Program in 2017. And 263 registered apprentices and pre-apprentices at 87 companies took first steps toward manufacturing careers with MIF support. The MIF-backed Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. program exposed more than 3,000 students and 5,000 educators to the career opportunities manufacturing offers.
Read the report
New program allows use of stranded R&D tax credits for major business investments
Businesses looking to make major capital investments now have what DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith called “a really nice tool in the toolbox.” Included in the recently passed two-year state budget is a provision allowing companies to use stranded research-and-development tax credits to help pay for investments in buildings, infrastructure and more.
The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut studied the idea in 2010 and concluded that such a program could pay for itself. Applicants will have to demonstrate that their projects will generate enough future state taxes to make the state whole. 
Read more
Arvinas signs $830-million deal for research collaboration and licensing with Pfizer 
New Haven-based Arvinas has signed an agreement with Pfizer for research collaboration and licensing of its new treatments for cancer and other diseases. Arvinas will receive from Pfizer up to $830 million in upfront and potential development and commercialization milestone payments, as well as royalties from sales of any products of this collaboration.
Arvinas is developing therapies that activate the body’s system for degrading and cleaning up disease-causing proteins – an advance over other therapies that merely inhibit those proteins, and with lower doses than the protein inhibitors. The new therapies may also have uses in neuroscience.
Read more
ReSET receives applicants from around the world for its 2018 startup incubator program
ReSET selected 22 startups – 14 from Connecticut, the remainder from Boston, New York, Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, Israel – for its latest accelerator program which began this month. Participating companies will get guidance from mentors, connections to prospective clients and help in planning their future growth.
ReSET attracted 110 applicants from 23 countries. That was three times the applicants it attracted for its four-month program in 2016. The non-profit reSET is funded by Connecticut Innovations (which has also funded businesses from previous reSET programs), DECD, and a roster of non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and colleges. 
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In the news: Growing Connecticut businesses
Check out these recent articles spotlighting businesses that are growing and thriving in Connecticut, including Donut Crazy, Language Link, LogicBroker and Whole G Bakery.
Read the news
Connecticut companies dot new IndustryWeek 1000 list of the world’s largest manufacturers
Connecticut’s centuries-long history of manufacturing leadership is evident on the new IndustryWeek 1000 list of the world’s top manufacturers. The list features 10 well-known Connecticut-based companies.
Topping the Connecticut list is United Technologies, ranked 52nd. Others are Stanley Black & Decker (337), Xerox (362), Praxair (373), Harman International (541), Amphenol (593), Terex (785), Hubbell (912) and Pitney Bowes (934). Also on the list are Henkel (191) and Diageo (300), whose North American headquarters are in Rocky Hill and Norwalk, respectively. Rankings are based on company revenues.
Full List
UConn initiative to support towns that want to develop brownfields but lack the expertise 
Cleaning up and redeveloping polluted properties has spurred economic activity across Connecticut, which is why the state has invested $225 million in such projects. But brownfield projects also require expertise in grant-proposal writing, regulatory compliance, environmental issues and more – expertise that many smaller municipalities don’t have on staff.
The University of Connecticut’s new Connecticut Brownfields Initiative was created to change that. Starting in the fall 2018 semester, students will be able to take a class studying those areas. The following semester, those students will work with cities and towns on actual brownfield projects. 
Full story
Quinnipiac School of Medicine opens $2 million lab dedicated to faculty and student research
Quinnipiac University’s medical school has opened a $2 million laboratory dedicated to research by faculty and students. The 6,000-square-foot laboratory is equipped for  studying cells and microbes of mammals and analyzing biological materials such as DNA, RNA, and proteins.
The lab will enable faculty to pursue independent research projects, while medical students will have the chance to conduct independent scholarship alongside faculty mentors as part of a capstone learning experience. Several research projects have already been approved in the general areas of cell and molecular biology, physiology, immunology and neuroscience.
Learn more

DECD Partner Profile:

A Conversation with Pamir Alpay, Executive Director of the Innovation Partnership Building at the UConn Tech Park
Dr. Pamir Alpay, an internationally recognized materials scientist, became executive director of the Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) at the UConn Tech Park in September 2017. Some of the IPB’s research centers began operation in October, and the remainder are scheduled to be fully operational in May. It also has additional bandwidth and space to take on new industry partners. In this installment of Partner Profile, we catch up with Pamir to learn how Connecticut businesses can take advantage of the unique facilities and expertise available at the IPB.
What is the Innovation Partnership Building?
The IPB at the UConn Tech Park is a real point of pride for the university, with state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation to conduct cutting-edge research. The IPB was made possible thanks to strong partnerships, university commitment and effort to work with industry ...
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