New London — Jean Schaefer, leader of a group that wants to form an innovation hub in southeastern Connecticut, said today that the state has decided not to support her proposal in its first round of funding.
A former Pfizer Inc. scientist, Schaefer had hoped to form a local hub called the Southeastern Connecticut Innovation Ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and keep researchers being laid off at the pharmaceutical giant's Groton campus from leaving the area. The DECD, however, decided it needed hubs that could guarantee a large number of start-up companies, Schaefer said, rather than the two that she could foresee within the first year.
"They were looking for something that southeastern Connecticut doesn't bring to the table," said Schaefer.
But she vowed during a meeting of entrepreneurs this evening at the Bean & Leaf coffeehouse that she hasn't given up on her plans.
"They made it clear the door is not shut to us," Schaefer said.
Schaefer said innovation hubs in the Rocky Hill, Storrs, Hartford and Fairfield County areas had passed the initial screening round. The Eastern Connecticut Innovation Corridor, based at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, would be the hub closest to the region, she added.