Biotech plan for state closer to reality

A bill that would set up a strategic plan for bio-technology in Nebraska is expected to go to a final vote in the legislature soon. Senator Annette Dubas of Fullerton has made it her priority bill.

She says “bio-economy” means pharmaceuticals, energy and biomass and a “wide swath” of interests. Dubas says the idea grew after she found out that biotech is much more than ethanol and bio-diesel.

She says the state would bring in some experts to lead the initiative. They’d hire a professional firm with experience in these areas, following the example of other states like Iowa.

Dubas says the plan could be put in place for a modest cost. She says the state should be able to get a comprehensive, professional study done for 200-thousand dollars and Bio Nebraska has already pledged to put up half of that amount.

The bill received second round approval in the Unicameral last week. Dubas is optimistic she can push the bill to final approval this session.

Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton