Governor Doyle Breaks Ground on Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

Project is Centerpiece of Governor’s Goal of Capturing 10 Percent of Stem Cell Market


MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today broke ground on the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, an integral part of his statewide strategy to cement Wisconsin’s status as a leader in the fields of biotechnology, health sciences, and stem cell research. Governor Doyle was joined at the event by UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Managing Director Carl Gulbrandsen, WARF Board of Trustees President Jan Ver Hagen, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery Interim Director Marsha Seltzer and UW-Madison alumni John and Tashia Morgridge.


“Here in Wisconsin we have built up the largest public research institution in the country, and the Institute for Discovery and the Morgridge Research Center are tremendous additions that will drive us into the future,” Governor Doyle said.  “I’m proud and grateful for the partnerships with WARF and John and Tashia Morgridge that made this possible. The centers will bring together the brightest researchers in nanotechnology, biotechnology, engineering and information technology in a public-private partnership to embark on cutting-edge research.”


The Institutes will feature public and private research facilities for interdisciplinary research and greater collaboration with industry on the UW-Madison campus. Because it is a public-private institute, it will allow flexibility for researchers to convert their discoveries into commercial ventures that will create jobs.


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


Construction on the 1300 block of University Avenue is expected be completed in 2010. It is estimated to cost $150 million and will be financed by state funds as well as a $50 million gift from John and Tashia Morgridge and a matching $50 million contribution from WARF.


Since taking office, Governor Doyle has vastly expanded the state’s investment in regenerative medicine and stem cell technologies to capture 10 percent of the market by 2015.  He also launched a $750 million initiative to develop stem cell research and biotechnology in Wisconsin. The centerpiece of this effort is the construction of the Institutes. Additionally, Wisconsin’s WiCell was selected as the nation’s first and only National Stem Cell Bank by the National Institutes of Health in 2005.


In March of this year, Governor Doyle announced that Madison will host the World Stem Cell Summit on September 22 – 23, 2008, bringing together premier researchers, advocates, investors, and other industry leaders to advance stem cell research and the promising technologies that will save lives.