PA Gov. Ridge Hosts Life-Sciences Summit

Nearly 80 Innovators, Researchers, Business Executives and Educators Gather

To Begin Design of Life-Sciences Greenhouses



Governor's $90 Million Plan Largest Technology Initiative

Ever Proposed in PA



Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge
 today hosted leaders of Pennsylvania's biotech industry -- innovators,
 educators, researchers and top executives -- to begin the process of designing
 the Governor's landmark Life-Sciences Greenhouse initiative.
     Gov. Ridge's plan would make $90 million available to build on the
 important lifesaving biotechnology research at Pennsylvania's top universities
 -- to make Pennsylvanians healthier and to capitalize on the powerful economic
 potential of Pennsylvania's status as a world center for life-science business
 and research.
     "You represent a promise for Pennsylvania's future," Gov. Ridge told
 Summit participants.  "You have the ability to transform Pennsylvania by
 unleashing a new generation of medical breakthroughs that will improve the
 quality of life of our citizens in ways we could not have imagined only a few
 short years ago.  And, in doing so, you will spark job growth across the
 state.
     "Our goal today is simple, yet daunting:  to roll up our sleeves and begin
 the effort to craft these Greenhouses.  The three Centers -- in Southwest,
 Southeast and Central Pennsylvania -- will focus on the unique assets and
 potential of each region, linked together by a statewide coordinating team.
 This team will work to create synergy among the Centers and provide the
 marketing and support each region will need.  I think of it as a model of a
 holding company supporting and nurturing three dynamic subsidiaries."
     As part of his 2001-02 budget, Gov. Ridge proposed a dramatic $90 million
 plan to capitalize on the revolutionary life-science research now under way at
 Pennsylvania's leading universities and biotech firms by creating three
 Life-Sciences Greenhouses across the state.
     The groundbreaking Life-Sciences Greenhouse initiative would use
 $90 million in surplus tobacco-settlement funds above and beyond the money
 necessary to implement the tobacco-settlement plan Gov. Ridge gave to the
 General Assembly last year.
     "By acting now to develop a design plan, we can hit the ground running
 once the General Assembly approves the Greenhouse initiative," Gov. Ridge
 said.  "Given its strong bipartisan support in both chambers, I am confident
 that will happen.
     "We remain committed to ensuring that every dollar received in the
 national tobacco settlement be spent making Pennsylvanians healthier -- and
 that's exactly what the Life-Sciences Greenhouses will do.  Another important
 byproduct of this initiative, however, is economic.  These Greenhouses won't
 just be centers for discovery, they'll be magnets for talent and investment.
 How often do you get to improve the health of a state and the health of its
 economy at the same time?"
     The Life-Sciences Greenhouses would seek to replicate the success of the
 Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, launched by Gov. Ridge in 1999, which already
 has made Southwestern Pennsylvania a center in the competitive computer-chip
 design industry.
     The Life-Sciences Greenhouses will be a network of statewide innovation
 centers based in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
     "To try and express the significance of what lies before us it is worth
 noting that, over the last five years, jobs in our life-sciences industries
 have increased by 30 percent in Pennsylvania -- double the rate of overall job
 growth in that same period.  At the same time, a medical breakthrough that
 just delayed the onset of Alzheimer's Disease by five years -- a focus
 of many of our researchers -- would save the U.S. economy more than
 $30 billion annually, not to mention what it would mean to thousands of
 families.
     "I am asking you today to join together with me to help realize this
 potential future."
     Pennsylvania's pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industries together
 employ more than 31,300 people, with a total payroll of more than $2.6 billion
 in 1999, while Pennsylvania's core biotech industry includes between 100 and
 150 companies with 6,000 employees.  Pennsylvania also is home to several
 firms focused specifically on tissue engineering, and ranks fourth nationally
 in employment by the medical supplies and devices sector.
     Each center will identify regionally based initiatives that may include:
 
    -- Support for industry/university technology development in
        targeted product and market lines;
    -- Specialized research equipment;
    -- Support for multi-institutional training or curricula development for
        emerging skill needs; and
    -- Seed capital and support for startup businesses.
 
     Gov. Ridge called on the General Assembly to pass the Life-Sciences
 Greenhouse initiative in conjunction with his overall tobacco-settlement plan,
 which he gave to the General Assembly in January 2000.
 
     CONTACT:  Steve Aaron, Deputy Director of Communications of Pennsylvania
 Office of the Governor, 717-783-1116.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X24848915
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge
 today hosted leaders of Pennsylvania's biotech industry -- innovators,
 educators, researchers and top executives -- to begin the process of designing
 the Governor's landmark Life-Sciences Greenhouse initiative.
     Gov. Ridge's plan would make $90 million available to build on the
 important lifesaving biotechnology research at Pennsylvania's top universities
 -- to make Pennsylvanians healthier and to capitalize on the powerful economic
 potential of Pennsylvania's status as a world center for life-science business
 and research.
     "You represent a promise for Pennsylvania's future," Gov. Ridge told
 Summit participants.  "You have the ability to transform Pennsylvania by
 unleashing a new generation of medical breakthroughs that will improve the
 quality of life of our citizens in ways we could not have imagined only a few
 short years ago.  And, in doing so, you will spark job growth across the
 state.
     "Our goal today is simple, yet daunting:  to roll up our sleeves and begin
 the effort to craft these Greenhouses.  The three Centers -- in Southwest,
 Southeast and Central Pennsylvania -- will focus on the unique assets and
 potential of each region, linked together by a statewide coordinating team.
 This team will work to create synergy among the Centers and provide the
 marketing and support each region will need.  I think of it as a model of a
 holding company supporting and nurturing three dynamic subsidiaries."
     As part of his 2001-02 budget, Gov. Ridge proposed a dramatic $90 million
 plan to capitalize on the revolutionary life-science research now under way at
 Pennsylvania's leading universities and biotech firms by creating three
 Life-Sciences Greenhouses across the state.
     The groundbreaking Life-Sciences Greenhouse initiative would use
 $90 million in surplus tobacco-settlement funds above and beyond the money
 necessary to implement the tobacco-settlement plan Gov. Ridge gave to the
 General Assembly last year.
     "By acting now to develop a design plan, we can hit the ground running
 once the General Assembly approves the Greenhouse initiative," Gov. Ridge
 said.  "Given its strong bipartisan support in both chambers, I am confident
 that will happen.
     "We remain committed to ensuring that every dollar received in the
 national tobacco settlement be spent making Pennsylvanians healthier -- and
 that's exactly what the Life-Sciences Greenhouses will do.  Another important
 byproduct of this initiative, however, is economic.  These Greenhouses won't
 just be centers for discovery, they'll be magnets for talent and investment.
 How often do you get to improve the health of a state and the health of its
 economy at the same time?"
     The Life-Sciences Greenhouses would seek to replicate the success of the
 Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, launched by Gov. Ridge in 1999, which already
 has made Southwestern Pennsylvania a center in the competitive computer-chip
 design industry.
     The Life-Sciences Greenhouses will be a network of statewide innovation
 centers based in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
     "To try and express the significance of what lies before us it is worth
 noting that, over the last five years, jobs in our life-sciences industries
 have increased by 30 percent in Pennsylvania -- double the rate of overall job
 growth in that same period.  At the same time, a medical breakthrough that
 just delayed the onset of Alzheimer's Disease by five years -- a focus
 of many of our researchers -- would save the U.S. economy more than
 $30 billion annually, not to mention what it would mean to thousands of
 families.
     "I am asking you today to join together with me to help realize this
 potential future."
     Pennsylvania's pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industries together
 employ more than 31,300 people, with a total payroll of more than $2.6 billion
 in 1999, while Pennsylvania's core biotech industry includes between 100 and
 150 companies with 6,000 employees.  Pennsylvania also is home to several
 firms focused specifically on tissue engineering, and ranks fourth nationally
 in employment by the medical supplies and devices sector.
     Each center will identify regionally based initiatives that may include:
 
    -- Support for industry/university technology development in
        targeted product and market lines;
    -- Specialized research equipment;
    -- Support for multi-institutional training or curricula development for
        emerging skill needs; and
    -- Seed capital and support for startup businesses.
 
     Gov. Ridge called on the General Assembly to pass the Life-Sciences
 Greenhouse initiative in conjunction with his overall tobacco-settlement plan,
 which he gave to the General Assembly in January 2000.
 
     CONTACT:  Steve Aaron, Deputy Director of Communications of Pennsylvania
 Office of the Governor, 717-783-1116.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X24848915
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of the Governor