Massachusetts, among the first colonies established in what is now the United States, birthplace of the American Revolution and home to the country’s oldest university (Harvard, founded in 1636), has a keen sense of history which lends itself to keeping a long-term perspective about economic cycles.

“We have a tradition of innovation that characterises our economy and has for 200 years,” says governor Deval Patrick.

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Rich history

“We have a concentration of research institutions that have been around for hundreds of years through all kinds of ups and downs: Harvard, MIT, University of Massachusetts and our other colleges and universities. We have some of the best teaching hospitals in the world and they will be here through good times and bad. We have a very strong and very deep venture capital community and while they are doing things differently they are still doing things and doing them in the life sciences area,”

Long-term plan

In keeping with the state’s character, the governor says: “I look and think and plan long term and I have a lot of confidence over the long term in the life sciences industry.”

Finding funding during an economic downturn is a challenge, to say the least, but no excuse to short-change such a crucial industry as biotech, he adds.

Strong partnership

“In every area we have had to trim back, but we are going to maintain our commitment here and it is a commitment over 10 years. We are very much about governing for the long term and when you consider biotech and its economic and health prospects you have to think in long-term ways. This is a partnership which is strong today and will grow over time – I am quite confident of that,” says Mr Patrick.