Connecticut Legislature Debates Innovation Allocation in State Budget

The budget includes a provision that establishes a subsidiary within Connecticut Innovations known as CTNext that is intended to foster innovation, start-up and other early-stage businesses.

by Stephen Singer, The Hartford Courant / May 13, 2016
Connecticut Governor, Dannel Malloy Dannel Malloy

(TNS) -- Connecticut is expanding its venture capital firm to help promote new start-up and early-stage businesses in the state.

The $19.7 billion state budget being voted on by the General Assembly this week includes a provision establishing a subsidiary within Connecticut Innovations known as CTNext. It's intended to foster innovation, start-up and other early-stage businesses.

The legislation also says the subsidiary will be responsible to protect and improve the business climate for businesses that invest in technology or new manufacturing or other development processes.

The CI subsidiary also will coordinate new strategies for technology-based talent and innovation, including creating and running the Connecticut Small Business Innovation Research Office to act as a clearinghouse and provide technical assistance.

Lawmakers, officials at Connecticut Innovations and state Department of Economic Development and others struggled with legislation establishing the subsidiary of the venture capital firm. Critics opposed an initial proposal for a new agency, citing the potential cost as state government is cutting spending to match declining revenue.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature are looking to give a boost to the state's slow-growth economy and labor force that are increasingly characterized by low-wage jobs.

In addition to a range of economic development grants and loans to draw business to the state, the Malloy administration is looking to promote bioscience and other high-tech firms that rely on a specialized and well-paid workforce.

©2016 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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