UVa among 5 Virginia universities in new biosciences group - The Daily Progress: News

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UVa among 5 Virginia universities in new biosciences group

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Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 6:32 pm | Updated: 9:22 pm, Tue Feb 5, 2013.

The University of Virginia is among five higher education institutions to join a newly founded statewide biosciences group.

Formally established this week, the goals of the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corp. include fostering collaborative scientific research innovation, serving as a catalyst to accelerate life sciences research momentum at universities, and developing jobs and new startup companies.

“Bioscience is on the forefront right now, and [research and development] investments have a tremendous economic impact in total jobs and increased annual state tax revenue,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in an announcement.

“The Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation is another great example of a public-private partnership that will bring companies in the life sciences industry in direct collaboration with leading universities to build on Virginia’s growing momentum in this booming sector.”

UVa will join Eastern Virginia Medical School, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech in the group.

Each school will contribute $50,000 to the group during the first and second years. In addition, the General Assembly has committed $5 million from the state’s general fund for the 2013-14 budget year.

Virginia’s bioscience industry employs more than 28,000 people in nearly 800 firms, according to the organization.

“The VBHRC is a unique model, which draws upon the institutional and collective life science strengths of  five Virginia universities,” Jerry Giles, interim chairman of the corporation, said in the announcement.

The corporation will be overseen by a 13-member board of directors and recruitment is ongoing to fill an 11-member project management and oversight panel. The corporation is also recruiting a president and CEO, who will report to the board of directors.

For more information or to submit resumes, email Giles at jgiles@yesvirginia.org.

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