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January 27, 2003
Vilsack Announces $50 Million Initiative to Make Iowa a Leader in
DES MOINES - Governor Tom Vilsack today announced a plan to invest
million of the Iowa Values Fund into the creation of a life
initiative to help establish Iowa as a leader in life sciences.
"Iowa is well positioned to become a worldwide leader in life
sciences if we
take action now," Vilsack said. "The Regents Universities have
capabilities in plant sciences and in human health and medicine,
and we have
leading experts in private industry conducting cutting edge
development and production in biotechnology right here in Iowa."
Vilsack said his new initiative, developed with the Regents
Iowa Business Council and leaders in Iowa's biotechnology
industry, is a
crucial step in transforming Iowa's economy.
The plan focuses on a three-part strategy:
A New Mindset
Vilsack said the first step toward making Iowa a leader in the
life sciences is creating a stronger and coordinated state approach
for entrepreneurial ventures in biotechnology-related industries
in Iowa. This will also include better coordination among the
Iowa Department of
Economic Development (IDED), Iowa Regents institutions, and
private sector business leaders to attract economic opportunity
that will help transform Iowa's economy.
A Regulatory Framework
As part of the new approach, Vilsack will call for the
creation of a state regulatory framework that minimizes risks
with bioengineered products, ensures safety, and maintains public
confidence. This includes adopting a clear framework for crop
choose to invest in the production of transgenic crops aimed at
pharmaceutical and enzyme development.
Innovative Support for Start-up Companies
This effort will provide public investment and enhanced
support for new and expanding Iowa companies or those wishing to
Iowa. This includes three basic approaches for providing the life
infrastructure needed to attract new companies:
1. An outreach program to accelerate
new business creation and recruitment including enhanced incubator
2. Enhanced facilities for new business
incubation and innovative genetic transformation in plants and
3. Enhanced facilities for human
pharmaceutical development, including facilities for new business
and other services.
Vilsack said the budget for the $50 million life sciences
emphasizes four key areas:
||Outreach program to
accelerate new business creation, including new business
incubator support functions, including operational expenses
||Construction of and
equipment for new business incubator support facilities and
R&D support for innovative genetic transformation, including
incubator facilities, transgenic animal facilities, and
transgenic plant facilities.
||Construction of and
equipment for new business incubator facilities and R&D
support for human pharmaceutical development.
||Construction of protein
extraction facilities and services.
Today's announced $50 million investment in life sciences
part of the Iowa Values Fund, Vilsack's proposal for a $500
million fund to
help transform Iowa's economy. In addition to the $50 million
today, $250 million of the Iowa Values Fund will be designated for
developing the three key industry clusters of life sciences,
manufacturing, and information solutions. A portion of the Iowa
will focus on regional economic development efforts statewide.
Vilsack continued, "This initiative will increase the number of
planting high valued transgenic crops for pharmaceutical or enzyme
development, increase biotechnology start-ups across Iowa, and
ability to recruit new companies that can provide Iowa families
communities the quality of life we value."