• Join your peers at SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference!

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and to register today.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Foundations Brighten Holidays for Several TBED Efforts

December 13, 2004

Foundations and philanthropists are playing increasingly important financial roles for many academic and regional technology-based economic development (TBED) efforts. The latest issue of Philanthropy News Digest, the weekly electronic newsletter of the FoundationCenter, highlights three recent announcements that provide examples of the size, scope and opportunity presented by these types of awards. The announcements are summarized below.

The Danforth Foundation awarded the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center a $50 million challenge grant that can be earned by an equal amount of matching gifts. The award will contribute one dollar to the center for each dollar raised from other donors to the center's endowment. The nonprofit research institute focuses on plant science research that leads to increased agricultural production, more nutritious food, and a cleaner environment.

Cleveland-based philanthropist and Harvard alumnus Albert Weatherhead III and his wife, Celia, recently created the Weatherhead Endowment for Collaborative Science and Technology at Harvard University. The $30 million endowment will function similar to a venture capital fund, enabling the university to seed promising interdisciplinary science and technology (S&T) projects. A Harvard S&T task force is evaluating more than a dozen proposals submitted by faculty across the university. Nanotechnology and neuroscience are two areas that may be supported by the endowment, according to school officials.

Earlier this month, the University of California at Berkeley received a five-year, $5.6 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for continued support of the Biology Scholars Program. Established in 1992 with funds from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the program helps undergraduate students from underserved communities to succeed in the biological sciences. The grant will enable these students - ethnic minorities, low-income students and those who are the first in their family to attend college - to become competitively qualified for admission into medical schools and graduate programs leading to science careers.