Delaware lawmakers announce bioscience group

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DOVER — A bipartisan group of legislators announced Tuesday a new caucus promoting Delaware’s bioscience industry.

The Life Science Caucus, one of half a dozen such unofficial legislative bodies, aims to help spur growth in the industry here.

The group will meet on a regular basis throughout the 151st General Assembly, serving as a forum for presentations from leading academic and private research organizations and businesses on topics like scientific advances to building an entrepreneurial environment. It will be co-chaired by Reps. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek Valley, and Krista Griffith, D-Fairfax.

“The biosciences are so critical from both a public health and economic standpoint for our state and the world,” Rep. Smith said in a statement. “This caucus will be an important platform for listening, learning, and sharing information on the science, technology, and investment so vital to the state’s future.”

The caucus’s first meeting will be held Monday at 11 a.m. over Zoom. Individuals interested in attending should register in advance here.

More than 8,000 people are employed in the state’s life or bioscience industry, working across hundreds of different establishments, and the sector accounts for millions of dollars in investment and research grants.

“As we have seen during the past year, the bioscience industry plays a critical role in our lives. But more than public health, the bioscience industry contributes significantly to Delaware’s economic health,” Rep. Griffith said in a statement. “With thousands of residents working in this growing field, it’s my hope that this new legislative group will educate and advocate for policies to facilitate a strong industry for years to come. Personally, I want to focus on expanding opportunities in the biosciences for women and minorities and explore ways to partner with our colleges to train the next generation of workers in a rewarding and valuable field.”

The body joins other unofficial caucuses that tackle small business, children’s issues, hunting/gun rights, the arts and LGBTQ rights. The LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, in fact, will hold its first meeting Wednesday.