(a) The commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of revenue and the director of the Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning, may designate biotechnology and health sciences industry zones. Priority must be given to applicants with a development plan that links a higher education/research institution with a biotechnology and health sciences industry facility.
(b) The commissioner may consult with the applicant prior to the designation of the zone. The commissioner may modify the development plan, including the boundaries of the zone or subzones, if in the commissioner's opinion a modified plan would better meet the objectives of the biotechnology and health sciences industry zone program. The commissioner shall notify the applicant of the modifications and provide a statement of the reasons for the modifications.
(a) In evaluating applications to determine the need for designation of a biotechnology and health sciences industry zone, the commissioner shall consider the following factors as indicators of need:
(1) the extent to which land in proximity to a significant scientific research institution could be developed as a higher and better use for biotechnology and health sciences industry facilities;
(2) the amount of property in or near the zone that is deteriorated or underutilized; and
(3) the extent to which property in the area would remain underdeveloped or nonperforming due to physical characteristics.
(b) The commissioner may require applicants to provide data to demonstrate how the area meets one or more of the indicators of need.
In determining the likelihood of success of a proposed zone, the commissioner shall consider:
(1) applicants that show a viable link between a higher education/research institution, the biotechnology and/or medical devices business sectors, and one or more units of local government with a development plan;
(2) the extent to which the area has substantial real property with adequate infrastructure and energy to support new or expanded development;
(3) the strength and viability of the proposed development goals, objectives, and strategies in the development plan;
(4) whether the development plan is creative and innovative in comparison to other applications;
(5) local public and private commitment to development of a biotechnology and health sciences industry facility or facilities in the proposed zone and the potential cooperation of surrounding communities;
(6) existing resources available to the proposed zone;
(7) how the designation of the zone would relate to other economic and community development projects and to regional initiatives or programs;
(8) how the regulatory burden will be eased for biotechnology and health sciences industry facilities located in the proposed zone;
(9) proposals to establish and link job creation and job training in the biotechnology and health sciences industry with research/educational institutions; and
(10) the extent to which the development is directed at encouraging, and that designation of the zone is likely to result in, the creation of high-paying jobs.
(a) The schedule in paragraphs (b) to (e) applies to the designation of the first biotechnology and health sciences industry zone.
(b) The commissioner shall publish the form for applications and any procedural, form, or content requirements for applications by no later than August 1, 2003. The commissioner may publish these requirements on the Internet, in the State Register, or by any other means the commissioner determines appropriate to disseminate the information to potential applicants for designation.
(c) Applications must be submitted by October 15, 2003.
(d) The commissioner shall designate the zones by no later than December 31, 2003.
(e) The designation of the zones takes effect January 1, 2004.
(f) Additional zones may be designated in later years, only after the commissioner of employment and economic development has established criteria for expanding the number of zones. The criteria must limit designating a new zone to a community that has adequate resources and infrastructure to support bioindustry, including postsecondary institutions, strong health care systems, and existing bioscience companies. It must also require that a new zone be located on a transportation corridor.