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Another View, with Reps. Dick Hinch and Steve Shurtleff: We can make NH the hub of regenerative medicine

April 24. 2018 5:33PM

Manchester inventor and DEKA founder Dean Kamen is heading the new Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute in the Manchester Millyard. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

New Hampshire has what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity in SB 564, a bill that offers a targeted, strategic economic development plan for a groundbreaking industry. The bill would provide 10-year business tax exemptions to qualified companies that engage in regenerative manufacturing. It would also create a student loan relief program for employees who agree to work in that sector for at least five years. This industry is at the heart of Manchester industrialist Dean Kamen’s initiative known as the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, or ARMI. ARMI has the goal of commercializing human organ and tissue regeneration. It is futuristic technology, evolving right here, right now. The Department of Defense (DOD) has recognized the value that this technology could have to the men and women who gave so much in service to this country. To that end, DOD has provided a seed grant based on its vision of a new life that could be given to these wounded military personnel. Imagine having this advancement available to our veterans, and to all people who have suffered an accident or illness. And imagine that the hub of this new industry could be here in New Hampshire.

Think of how the high tech industry built Silicon Valley, the film industry built Los Angeles, country music built Nashville, and Disney turned swampland in central Florida into modern Orlando, a city that now attracts visitors from all over the world.

SB 564 is a good bill, and the Legislature has made it even better. We amended the bill so that regenerative manufacturing companies that do not want to be part of ARMI can still qualify for the incentives, and we tightened the definition of the term regenerative manufacturing. We also added fiscal oversight by the Legislature and the Department of Revenue Administration, to ensure a high level of confidence in the stability of the program, now and in the future.

Thanks in no small part to Mr. Kamen’s previous endeavors, the city of Manchester has blossomed in recent decades. The renaissance is not complete, and ARMI would help take it to the next level. Better still, this industry will bring enormous benefits to the entire New Hampshire economy. Initially there will be new jobs, followed soon after by the inevitable sprouting of ancillary jobs and economic growth. From the renowned medical and research facilities of the Upper Valley to the vibrancy of Pease Tradeport and the Seacoast region, every part of the state stands to benefit from putting out the welcome mat for the companies involved in regenerative manufacturing technology.

Regenerative manufacturing is part of the future. Passing this legislation will show the rest of the country, and the world, that New Hampshire is open for business, that we want to be at the forefront of next generation industries, and that we have a good home for any company that is looking for a place to flourish and grow.

Rep. Dick Hinch, R-Merrimack, is House Majority Leader. Rep. Steve Shurtleff, D-Concord, is House Minority Leader.

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