Ethnie Groves, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2156
Urges State Building Commission to Approve First Phase of Funding at Friday Meeting
Governor Jim Doyle announced today that he included $19 million for the first phase of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in his Capital Budget.
“The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is key to my Biotech Initiative and to our efforts to ensure Wisconsin remains at the forefront of biotech and biomedical research,” Governor Doyle said.
The $375 million Institute will be built and financed over 10 years, with about 50 percent, or $187.5 million, coming from the state and the other half coming from private funds. Governor Doyle included $19 million in his Capital Budget to fulfill the state’s commitment for the first phase of the project. The State Building Commission is scheduled to approve the first phase of funding for the project at their meeting on Friday, March 18, 2005.
The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery will be located in a new interdisciplinary research facility of about 450,000 square feet on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
“The Institute will not only benefit the Madison campus,” Governor Doyle said. “It will serve as an interactive hub, allowing collaborative research to occur among other UW-Madison schools and other UW System campuses.”
The Institute will be surrounded by the engineering campus and the biotechnology, biochemistry, and computer science buildings – bringing together engineers, biologists, chemists, statisticians, informatics researchers, and medical scientists. The shared research space will encourage interaction among faculty, scientists, and students from multiple disciplines across Wisconsin.
The Governor said that a space that allows for integration and collaboration across disciplines, schools, and campuses does not currently exist in the UW System. The Institute will allow scientists to attack problems that have been unapproachable before – setting the stage for new discoveries, products, and technologies that will benefit Wisconsin’s economy and human health. The Institute will also enable faculty and research staff to continue to attract high levels of research funding.
The Institute will include 25,000 square feet for technology transfer and incubator space. Including space for technology incubation and transfer enables the strong ties between the University and the private sector that are necessary for rapid and effective technology transfer, as well as the inception of spin-out companies.
The Institute will also include about 100,000 square feet of educational space for undergraduate, graduate, short courses, and certificate programs, including evening and weekend programs. One of the main objectives of the Institute will be to reach out to adult workers in changing biomedical industries to advance their skills and to enable them to retool for new roles in emerging areas, such as information technology, nanotechnology, drug discovery, quality assurance, or manufacturing processes.
The Governor said that Institute will lead to research that will be patented and licensed at WARF or WiSys, which, in turn, will generate royalties that can be reinvested in additional research. As a result, the Institute will help create high-tech companies – leading to economic development far exceeding the cost of investment.
“The investments we’re making in biotech will help not only Milwaukee and Madison, but our whole state,” Governor Doyle said. “Wisconsin is competing as a state and as a region to capture the growing biotechnology industry. Every investment we make, every success we have, is a victory for all of Wisconsin.”
Under Governor Doyle’s Biotechnology Initiative, Wisconsin is investing $750 million in public and private funds over the next several years to projects across the state – including the new Wisconsin Institute for Discovery – so that Wisconsin will continue to lead the world in scientific breakthroughs and job creation.