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Thread: N.J. Must Fend Off Research Rivals ; Incentives Are Weapon of Choice

  1. #1

    N.J. Must Fend Off Research Rivals ; Incentives Are Weapon of Choice

    Bergen County Record

    Merck and New Jersey. For years they've been perfect together.

    The giant drug maker has been a showcase of the state's worldwide preeminence in the pharmaceutical industry. Merck received the state's first big job-creation grant - $2 million in 1974.

    So state officials were stunned on April 6, 2004, when North Carolina officials announced that Merck was locating a new 166,000- square-foot vaccine plant in Durham - enticed by a $39.4 million tax incentive package quietly approved by the North Carolina Legislature months earlier.

    That experience provides a cautionary tale for New Jersey as it vies with California and other states for dominance in the emerging field of biomedical research. Incentive programs, tax subsidies, even history - all can be overcome by the corporate balance sheet.

    "The issue with companies today is there is no, as a right, state loyalty. It is very much a bottom-line loyalty," said Caren Franzini, executive director of the state Economic Development Authority. "These are international corporations that have their first loyalty to their stockholders, and they are making a financial decision."

    To be sure, New Jersey has plenty going for it in the competition. It is home to the world headquarters of nine pharmaceutical companies, including Merck and Johnson & Johnson. Long called the "medicine chest to the world," New Jersey also is host to corporate names like Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb.

    Situated in the heart of the East Coast research corridor between Baltimore and Boston, New Jersey has spawned some of the world's biggest chemical and pharmaceutical businesses and biotechnology breakthroughs since the 1940s. One company after another settled in the Garden State. The reason is simple.

    Location. Location. Location.


  2. #2
    Wise, what do you think of the 4 part series the Record did?

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