PHILADELPHIA--()--University City Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA, highlighted the importance of the life sciences as an economic driver as he testified at a hearing of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 in Washington, DC.
“At the Science Center, we firmly believe that our multi-institutional QED program is a unique and model ‘public-private partnership’ that can be replicated across the nation to help promising ventures cross the ‘Valley of Death’ in funding”
The hearing, chaired by Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., examined the impact of the life science industry on innovation and job growth.
During his remarks, Tang described the history and mission of the Science Center, the nation’s oldest and largest urban research park, and its contributions to the Greater Philadelphia economy. “More than 350 companies have passed through our doors since we were founded in 1963.The 93 that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region account for over $9 billion of sales and 15,000 current direct jobs. These jobs pay an average of $89,000 per year—a remarkable figure, especially in today’s economy,” he explained.
Yet, he noted, “The life sciences industry does more than create well-paying jobs. Scientists and researchers are dramatically improving treatments, therapeutics and ultimately patient care and quality of life.”
Tang pointed to the Science Center’s innovative QED Proof of Concept funding program, which pulls technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace by pairing scientific researchers with experienced business advisors, as an example of regional collaboration. “At the Science Center, we firmly believe that our multi-institutional QED program is a unique and model ‘public-private partnership’ that can be replicated across the nation to help promising ventures cross the ‘Valley of Death’ in funding,” he said.
Tang highlighted the work done by residents of the Science Center’s Port business incubator, and noted, “At the Science Center, we look forward to helping our residents advance science and technology and invent new products that will change the world – while creating new jobs and economic growth along the way.”
Tang also voiced his support for the proposed Life Sciences Jobs and Investment Act, which will offer tax incentives for small and mid-sized businesses to invest in life sciences research and development on a targeted basis and ensure the availability of an educated, skilled workforce that will sustain the pipeline of bioscience innovations, companies and jobs over the long term.
“One out of every six jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region can be traced back to the life sciences,” Tang explained. “The Life Sciences Jobs and Investment Act is key to the long-term success of this crucial industry sector. This is the kind of proactive legislation that we need to maintain our competitive edge as we ensure that biotech in the region – and the entire country – continues to grow and thrive. “
Dr. Tang became President and CEO of the Science Center in February 2008, following an extensive nationwide search. He is the first president in the Science Center’s 48-year history to have not only led a company through venture funding and an initial public offering, but to also serve as a senior executive with a large life sciences company as it acquired and integrated smaller start-ups.
Dr. Tang, a seasoned life science, energy technology, and management consulting executive, previously served as group vice president and general manager with Olympus America Inc., where he led U.S. operations for the company’s $1 billion global life science businesses. Before joining Olympus in 2005, he was president and CEO of Millennium Cell Inc., an energy technology firm he led through its initial public offering in 2000.
Previously, he served as vice president and managing director of the global pharmaceutical and healthcare practice of A.T. Kearney Inc., and was vice president and co-managing director of the global chemical and environmental practice for Gemini Consulting Inc., now known as Cap Gemini.
Dr. Tang earned a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary. A graduate of the public school system in Delaware, he has resided in the region for most of his life.
About The Science Center
The University City Science Center accelerates technology commercialization, regional economic development, and the market availability of life-enhancing scientific breakthroughs by bringing together innovations, scientists, entrepreneurs, funding, laboratory facilities, and business services. Established in 1963 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, the Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information: www.sciencecenter.org.