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Rhode Island Announces State's First Centers of Excellence

August 23, 1996

The State of Rhode Island has selected two Research Centers of Excellence designed to expand research initiatives and encourage investment and job opportunities. The Rhode Island Center for Cellular Medicine and the Ocean Technology Center are the state's first technology centers.

The Rhode Island Center for Cellular Medicine, which will receive a $500,000 grant, will support activity in the field of cell-based medical therapy. The Center is designed to initiate, test and manufacture cell-based technologies as well as provide specialized treatment facilities. Partners include Brown University Medical School, the Lifespan Hospitals, Cyto Therapeutics and three Rhode Island biotechnology start-up firms (BCR, Multi-Cell, and Cell Kinetics). In addition, matching funds totaling nearly $300,000 will be contributed by Lifespan, Brown University, and Cyto Therapeutics.

The Ocean Technology Center of Excellence (OTCE), based at the University of Rhode Island, hopes to help revitalize Rhode Island's marine economy, which has been suffering from the effects of defense downsizing and the depletion of traditional fish stock.

The Center will target market-driven research and technology development in areas where Rhode Island has strong research and industrial capabilities: marine electronics -- underwater acoustics, navigation, and communications; and marine environmental monitoring system--pollution tracing, ocean modeling and prediction, and associated sensors.

The Ocean Technology Center, which will receive a $250,000 grant, is comprised of a team of Rhode Island-based firms, the University of Rhode Island, and federal agencies.

Rhode Island