The legislation, House Bill 93, comes just as the Georgia Medical Center Authority was facing severe financial challenges because of reduced state funding. The new measure allows the authority to establish a subsidiary that can apply for grants from foundations that would not give directly to government entities. It will also allow the authority to take stock in the start-ups it helps nurture.
The Augusta-based authority's mission is to develop biotech jobs in rural parts of the state by assisting beginning companies in the field. It provides laboratory space and advice in an incubator setting.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Sims, R-Augusta.