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New Jersey Plans $450M Stem Cell Referendum

June 20, 2007

State Also Begins Work on $150M Stem Cell Research Center An agreement between Gov. Jon Corzine and state legislative leaders will result in a $450 million bond referendum being put before New Jersey voters this fall. If approved, the money will be used to augment support for the state’s stem cell research initiative over the next 10 years. New Jersey already has committed to spending $270 million on stem cell research (see the Jan 8, 2007 issue of the Digest)

 

On the same day the bond issue agreement was announced, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJ EDA) approved $9.2 million in preconstruction costs for the planned Stem Cell Institute facilities in New Brunswick. The New Brunswick Development Corporation will oversee the development of the new research facilities. Major construction is slated to begin next year and is expected to conclude sometime in 2011.

 

In the meantime, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey will continue their collaboration through the institute, a portion of which is currently housed at the Stem Cell Research Center on the Rutgers Busch campus.

 

The new Stem Cell Institute will use $150 million of the initial $270 million state investment and is the centerpiece of the state’s plan to become a national leader in stem cell and biotech research.

 

The remaining $120 million from the NJ EDA bonds will be used to fund stem cell-related research across the state, including:

  • $50 million for a biomedical research center in Camden
  • $50 million for a stem cell research facilities at the New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • $10 million to create blood collection facilities
  • $10 million for the Garden State Cancer Center

A report issued in 2005 from Joseph Seneca and Will Irving at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers predicted that a statewide stem cell initiative in New Jersey could have far-reaching advantages, both in financial returns to the state and quality of life. The plan then under consideration called for a $380 million investment in a similar research facility, associated equipments, and peer-reviewed research grants. Seneca and Irving’s model estimated that the state could expect $1.4 billion in new economic activity, close to 20,000 new jobs, and $71.9 million in new state revenues during the initiative's first 20 years. An additional $1.9 billion in savings may be possible as an indirect result of the investment, including savings in health care costs, increased productivity, and the value of preventing premature deaths.

 

Read the NJEDA announcement at: http://www.njeda.com/pr_061207.asp

New Jersey