Governor Proposes $554 Million to Increase Virginia’s Research Power

Posted: December 8, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Gov. Mark Warner announced on Dec. 7 that he will include $255 million in his upcoming budget to develop and promote higher educational research facilities and faculty in Virginia.

State higher education institutions are committing up to $299 million to match the governor’s proposed allocation, resulting in a half-billion-dollar investment in research to help treat and eradicate diseases, develop new technologies and build state-of-the-art research facilities in Virginia.

The funding will increase the research capacity of Virginia’s higher education institutions by providing startup capital for research laboratories, recruiting top researchers and graduate students to Virginia universities, creating state-of-the-art research facilities and funding cutting-edge research equipment. Most of the funding will be one-time.

Among the new research facilities the funding package would support is a bioscience facility and a biocontainment laboratory at George Mason. The funding would also support bioengineering, neuroscience and cancer biology research at George Mason and partnerships with private sector research institutes in Northern Virginia to study protein structures and infectious diseases.

“Our state dollars will leverage federal and private funds to help attract the best and brightest scientists and students to our universities,” Warner said. “Several of our universities have started to recruit world-class researchers to Virginia. This funding will further our advances in biomedical research and help lead to potential breakthroughs in treating cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other serious diseases.”

The proposal also includes creation of a competitive grant fund to support collaborative translational research aimed at commercialization of discoveries and development of a permanent funding mechanism for research facilities to allow the commonwealth to take prompt advantage of unique research opportunities as they arise.

Part of the research proposal involves additional state support for modeling and simulation programs. Details on those elements will be announced on Dec. 9, 2005. Additional details of the higher education research initiative will be announced in conjunction with the Dec. 16, 2005, introduction of Warner’s budget proposal.

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