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North Carolina Biosciences Organization (NCBIO) > NCBIO Advocacy

 NCBIO Advocacy

NCBIO advocates for North Carolina’s life sciences industry at the state and national levels.  In North Carolina, the Organization represents its members at the North Carolina General Assembly and before state courts, regulatory agencies and executive branch policy leaders.

At the national level, NCBIO works with the national Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), AdvaMed and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) to support appropriate federal policies and to keep members of North Carolina's congressional delegation informed as to industry needs and priorities.

 State Advocacy Agenda

One North Carolina Small Business Fund AppropriationThe One North Carolina Small Business Funds provides state matching grants to North Carolina companies that win Phase I SBIR/STTR grants from federal agencies. The grants are especially important in the wake of recent federal legislation that caps SBIR/STTR Phase I grants at only $225,000. Although the One North Carolina Small Business Fund has received received as much as $5M annually, recent state revenue shortfalls forced the Assembly to abandon it in 2011. NCBIO urges he General Assembly to restore funding for the One North Carolina Small Business Fund SBIR/STTR matching grant program in 2013.

North Carolina Biotechnology Center AppropriationThe North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC) currently receives approximately $17.2million per year to actively promote growth of North Carolina's life science sector. Programs include research grants, small company loans, business recruitment, work force development, and support for agricultural biotechnology. Funding for the Center in FY 2010-11 totaled $19.5 million, but state revenue shortfalls have forced reductions in recent appropriations. NCBIO urges the Assembly to restore full funding to the Center as state revenues recover in 2013.

Tax ReformThe North Carolina General Assembly is expected to consider legislation in 2013 to modernize the State's tax code. NCBIO favors tax reform that recognizes and supports innovation as a key driver of economic prosperity.

NCBioImpact AppropriationNCBioImpact is a consortium of North Carolina universities and community colleges providing advanced education and hands-on training opportunities for North Carolina students and biomanufacturing workers. NCBioImpact includes the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) at North Carolina State University, the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) at North Carolina Central University, and the North Carolina Community College System's BioNetwork. NCBioImpact has been a crucial asset in attracting biomanufacturing operations to North Carolina and remains an essential element of the State's life science infrastructure. NCBIO urgest the General Assembly to continue full funding for NCBioImpact.

(More State Issues)

 Federal Advocacy Agenda

Medical Device Tax RepealAs part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Congress adopted a new 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. The tax, which takes effect in 2013, will cost medical technology companies $10 billion over ten years. Start-up companies will be particularly burdened because the tax applies even to companies that are not yet profitable. Legislation to repeal the tax has passed the United States House of Representatives. NCBIO urges the Senate to take up and pass the repeal legislation.
Independent Payment Advisory Board RepealThe Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act (PPACA) established a new Indpendent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) with authority to set Medicare reimbursement rates subject only to an up or down vote by Congress. The IPAB reduces transparency and accountability with respect to the Medicare reimbursement system and could undermine the quality of health care provided to seniors. NCBIO supports federal legislation to repeal the IPAB provisions of the PPACA.
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 Advocacy Outcomes

Workforce Development

Between 2003 and 2006, NCBIO and its Biotech Manufacturers Forum partnered with North Carolina's universities and community colleges, the North Carolina Golden LEAF Foundation, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to establish a statewide biomanufacturing training program called NCBioImpact. NCBioImpact is a collaborative effort to provide top quality training and educational opportunities for North Carolinians seeking employment in biomanufacturing-related industries. NCBioImpact includes

  • The North Carolina Community College System's statewide network of campus-based education and training programs for biotechnology, pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing, and related business and science curriculum.
  • The Biotechnology Training and Education Center (BTEC) at North Carolina State University, a unique state-of-the art manufacturing and training center designed to provide students with hands-on experience with commercial-scale pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing equipment and technologies.
  • The Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Training Enterprise (BRITE) at North Carolina Central University, designed to provide bachelors and advanced education in pharmaceutical and bioprocess development and related disciplines.

NCBioImpact's facilities and programs were funded by $65 million in grants from Golden LEAF. The North Carolina legislature provides nearly $20 million in operational funding for NCBioImpact programs each fiscal year.

2012-13 State Budget

NCBIO worked with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC) and representatives of other institutions to support continued funding for the State's major life science initatives.  Despite a continuing state revenue shortfall, the Assembly’s budget reduced state life science funding by only about $550,000 or 0.47% of FY 2011-12 life science program funding.  NCBC funding was reduced by a modest 2% ($351,000) to $17.2 million.  Appropriations for the NCBioImpact life science worker training programs were continued at FY 2011-12 levels, as was funding for the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) and the University Cancer Research Fund (UCRF). Funding for the Biofuels Center of North Carolina (BCNC) was reduced by a little more than 4.5% or around $200,000.  Legislators declined to restore funding for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) matching grants historically provided by the One North Carolina Small Business Fund (ONCSBF).  Previous Assemblies had allocated as much as $5 million for the program, which provided critically needed non-dilutive funding to early-stage life science and other technology-driven start-up companies.

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