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Missouri Unveils $450M TBED Strategy

February 06, 2006

Not all of the pieces critical to building an innovation-based economy have to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, as might be suggested in the Florida and Pennsylvania stories above. Gov. Matt Blunt's Feb. 2 call for the state to provide $2 million for a new Missouri Life Science Incubator - designed to help researchers move their science from the laboratory to commercial businesses - provides a case in point. The proposed facility would be located on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

The $2 million investment is a new part of the governor's $450 million Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative, which already includes proposals for two other life sciences facilities at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The first is a new $150 million Health Science Center designed to grow the university’s research base and second is a $15 million plant science research center that will seek to develop and enhance plant-based products.

Gov. Blunt proposed the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative for the state to invest $450 million for capital improvement projects, new scholarships and endowed professorships at universities throughout the state through the sale of assets from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA).

The MOHELA board last week approved placing select assets for sale on the open market, with the exclusion of loans MOHELA backs for Missouri college students. The action is expected to generate $300 million for capital improvement projects, $100 million in student scholarships, $30 million to enhance the growth and development of technology businesses near college campuses, and $20 million for endowed professorships at universities across the state.

Another component of the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative would have Missouri provide assistance to help the state's academic institutions bring technologies into the global market through the Missouri Discovery Alliance. The Missouri Discovery Alliance is designed to maximize the economic impact of science and technology in Missouri by attracting and retaining life science companies and to help develop commercial applications for research. The major funding source for the alliance would be a $5 million endowment set aside through the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative.

More information is available at: http://www.gov.mo.gov/press/LewisandClarkInitiative012606.htm Projects to be funded in 2007-08 through the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative are listed at: http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/departments/gr/newsletter/060127/01-27-06AllocationPlanFinalII.pdf