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Louisiana Governor Outlines $187 Million Biosciences Initiative

March 15, 2002

Louisiana Governor Mike Foster's economic development plan calls for $37 million for a Biosciences Initiative, at the state's top research universities, $15 million to support industry clusters for regional universities, and $8.4 million to spur enrollment growth in community and technical colleges. Coupled by a $150 million bond issue, funding for bioscience endeavors would equal a $187 million investment.

For the Biosciences Initiative, The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Vision 2020 recommends that the state invest $28 million in one-time capital expenditures and $9 million in annual revenues, beginning with the new fiscal year on July 1. Included is the Louisiana Health Research and Clinical Care Initiative, the $150 million bond issue that would cost the state $15 million a year to repay. Funding for this initiative — designed to update the state's medical schools' facilities and equipment and attract faculty — would come from interest earnings and tobacco settlement funds. It includes $70 million for a Capital Challenge Fund, $50 million for an Equipment Fund, and $30 million for a Research Revolving Fund.

The Biosciences Initiative also includes the following components:

  • $16 million for the Biosciences Research Initiative, which would involve investment in research and facilities for LSU A&M, the LSU Medical Center, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
  • $15 million for the development of a 60,000-square-foot wet laboratory business incubator in Shreveport, La, and two wet labs in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The labs will be used to house biomedical start-up companies. And,
  • $6 million for the Neurobiotechnology Program of Louisiana, a neuroscience-focused research program that links LSUHSC-New Orleans, Tulane HSC, and LSU-Shreveport.

More detail on the Biosciences Initiative and other items in The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Vision 2020 is available at: http://www.gov.state.la.us/default.htm