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Investments in University R&D Top Virginia Gov's Budget Proposal

December 19, 2005

To develop and promote higher education research facilities and faculty in Virginia, Gov. Mark Warner proposed $218.8 million in his fiscal year 2006-08 biennial budget proposal for investment in university R&D. In response, state institutions of higher education have pledged to match the governor's proposal with a $299 million commitment.

The funding allows for the hiring of top researchers in the fields of biomedical science, biomaterials engineering, nanotechnology, and modeling and simulation, whose presence will attract more grant-funded research to the Commonwealth, according to the governor's office. In addition to having economic benefits, the initiative also invests in the search for cures for cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, the governor said.

Included in the initiative is funding to increase state support for the Institute of Applied Learning in Danville, aimed at stimulating economic development by creating research-based jobs, attracting new businesses, and conducting applied research for existing businesses. Examples of projects to be funded under the governor's budget proposal include:

  • A bioscience facility and a biocontainment laboratory at George Mason University;
  • A medical research building at Virginia Commonwealth University and additional funding for the Massey Cancer Center addition;
  • Investments in a new clinical cancer center at the University of Virginia; and,
  • Construction of a critical technology building and an infectious disease laboratory at Virginia Tech.

The budget request for the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) is $7.1 million for FY07, a 17.02 percent increase over the FY06 appropriation, and $6.2 million for FY08, a 1.1 percent increase over FY06. For FY07, Gov. Warner included an additional $1 million to establish a consulting service line to match large-scale consumers with advanced technology companies. This includes the identification of opportunities to accelerate nanomanufacturing and SmartBio research, development and commercialization in the state.

Gov. Warner's FY 2006-08 Budget is available at: http://www.dpb.virginia.gov/budget/06-08/buddoc06/buddoc.htm