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R&D credits valuable

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Letter to the Editor
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Trib readers might be interested to know that in addition to the Keystone Innovation Zone tax credit program described in Melissa Daniels' news story “202 tech startups reap Pennsylvania tax credits” , there's another Pennsylvania tax credit program that encourages technology-intensive companies to stay here and helps them to thrive.

Research and Development Tax Credits help offset the costs of the R&D process, which can be quite lengthy and expensive, especially for life sciences companies. Fortunately for early-stage companies like those supported by the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), up to 20 percent of the available credits are set aside for small businesses. PLSG has 11 companies in the portfolio that have taken advantage of these tax credits. I know these companies have worked very hard for every dollar of funding and the tax credits were immediately beneficial and put to good use. Furthermore, nondilutive capital like these tax credits encourages follow-on investment from “angel” investors, private equity and venture capital.

As the Keystone Innovation Zone and R&D Tax Credit programs demonstrate, relatively modest public investment leads to greater investment from entrepreneurs and the private sector, helping to drive the entire economy forward. To our policymakers and the electorate, let's ensure that funding for such worthy programs continues.

John W. Manzetti

The writer is president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse ( and founder and managing director of the PLSG Accelerator Fund LLC.

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