The state Senate passed a bill April 19 that continues the work of the successful Connecticut Health Data Collaborative, a network of public and private partners with diverse and complementary backgrounds.
SB 968 enables the collaborative to develop and implement a strategy that will allow Connecticut to advance the work the state has done to establish itself as a worldwide leader in bioscience and precision medicine.
This collaboration brings together leaders from Connecticut’s most prestigious research institutions, led by the Yale Center for Genomic Analysis, The Jackson Laboratory, Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory, and the University of Connecticut, plus hospital representatives, leaders from some of the largest Connecticut-based insurance companies in the country, and representatives from the biotech and advanced technology sectors.
Sen. Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) led unanimous passage of the bill.
“The CHDC has done remarkable work in its first year, and its members are energized and committed to working in a public-private collaboration to make Connecticut a global leader in bioscience and precision medicine,” Hartley said.
“Bioscience is already expanding rapidly in our state, and having the CHDC acting as a permanent advisory board will be invaluable to ensuring the state leverages this opportunity.
“This kind of work can be truly world-changing and also serve as a powerful economic engine that will lead to business start-ups, which create skilled job opportunities for generations to come.”
The bill tasks the collaborative to create stronger partnerships and networks among major stakeholders in Connecticut’s bioscience, healthcare, and education fields.
A 2015 economic study found that Connecticut has strong assets and economic drivers in research and development in general, and bioscience and health data in particular.
The goal is to adopt a statewide initiative to leverage Connecticut’s world-class academic and research institutions, the insurance industry, and an emerging tech industry.
The bipartisan support the bill received indicates the value and importance legislators and policymakers attach to bioscience as a driver of Connecticut’s economy.
Hartley’s bill now goes to the state House.