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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Recently elected US senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) took a tour today of the University City Science Center, on Market Street in West Philadelphia.

The Science Center started as a city urban renewal project and now occupies 15 buildings, making it the largest and oldest urban research park in the country.

“We were one of the nation’s first business incubators,” says Science Center CEO Stephen Tang, “and business incubators provide facilities, offices, labs, and other shared services that would not be available to businesses if they were off on their own.”

Sen. Toomey toured two of the 93 companies housed there.  He says he wants to become more familiar with the work they do, and he talked about one aspect that he’d like to change.

“One of the specific areas that I have zeroed in on is my efforts and hope that we will be able to repeal the medical device tax, a significant tax that will be imposed on sales of medical devices without respect to whether the device manufacturer is actually profitable,” Toomey says.

Toomey believes this tax makes it more difficult for young startup companies, such as those housed in the Science Center, to survive.

Although much of the center is self-funded, it does rely on some government funding. Toomey says he will do what he can to advocate for them.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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