Gov. Doyle: Launches First Phase of Institutes for Discovery

Contacts: Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Announces Largest Gift Ever to University

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today joined UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Managing Director Carl Gulbrandsen and UW-Madison alumni John and Tashia Morgridge to announce the financing plan for the first phase of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (WID). The Institutes, proposed in 2004 by Governor Doyle as part of an overall statewide strategy to cement Wisconsin’s status as a biotechnology and stem-cell research leader, will include facilities for interdisciplinary research and greater collaboration with industry.

Governor Doyle announced a $50 million gift from John and Tashia Morgridge – the largest ever to benefit the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Morgidge gift will be matched by $50 million from WARF and $50 million from the State of Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin is at the forefront of biotech and biomedical research – but we must build on that leadership,” said Governor Doyle. “Now the greatest researchers in the world will have a facility in Wisconsin to develop new scientific approaches and commercial applications for their discoveries. The Institutes will not only create new jobs, they will help unleash potential lifesaving cures. I want to thank the Morgridge family for their generous commitment to our state and scientific research.”

Governor Doyle first proposed the idea for the Institutes in November of 2004 after meeting with researchers, university officials, and industry leaders. The Governor recognized the need for a facility that would foster collaborative research across disciplines throughout the UW system and explore commercial applications of the latest scientific discoveries.

Research through the Institute will focus on a wide range of critical biological and medical issues, from attacking diseases to advancing regenerative medicine. The public institute will function as an interactive hub, bringing together engineers, biologists, chemists, statisticians, informatics researchers, and medical scientists to with the latest technologies and research support. The private institute, to be named the Morgridge Institute for Research, will provide a flexible environment for researchers to collaborate with industry and pursue commercial applications.

WARF, working with the university, will begin the institute’s work by soliciting research proposals for a seed grant program that will enable collaborative research to occur well before the facility is opened. When it does open, the Institute will host an array of educational outreach programs for university and K-12 school students.

The UW System Board of Regents will meet on April 7 and the State Building Commission, chaired by Governor Doyle, will meet on April 19 to approve the deal. Construction on the first phase of the project will begin December 2007.

Governor Doyle and the University have proposed three phases of development for the Institutes for Discovery, an overall investment of $375 million. Today’s announcement covers the financing for phase one of the project, which will occupy the 1300 block of University Avenue. Under phase two and three of the project, the Institutes will expand to occupy the 1200 block of University Avenue, directly to the east.