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March 9, 2000

Governor's 'VentureTECH' Initiative To Assist In Construction Of New Medical Research Center At Northwestern University

CHICAGO - Governor George H. Ryan today committed $30 million from his proposed $1.9 billion VentureTECH initiative to help Northwestern University build a new high-tech medical research facility in Chicago. Those funds, coupled with a $40 million gift from university trustee Ann Lurie, will allow construction to begin later this year.

"This project is a perfect example of the type of public-private partnerships that will benefit from VentureTECH," Ryan said. "I think it's only fitting that a world-class university have a world-class facility like the one announced here today."

The governor's five-year, $1.9 billion VentureTECH proposal is designed to strengthen partnerships with the private sector and is expected to result in nearly $3.9 billion in technology related infrastructure improvements in Illinois. VentureTECH focuses on expanding economic development opportunities in Illinois, as well as investing in Illinois' future through education and research opportunities.

The new facility will be named The Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center of Northwestern University in honor of the late husband of Ann Lurie. The center will include space for research laboratories and offices in the fields of genetics, cancer, biomedical engineering, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and aging. The 12-story building will have more than 200,000 net square feet of research space and will include nine floors of dedicated laboratory space. Plans also call for two auditoriums, three classrooms and a dining facility.

Northwestern University President Henry S. Bienen called the governor's commitment a key element in the funding for the new building. "This state support provides an important impetus to help Northwestern raise additional private funds for construction and endowment of the research facility."

VentureTECH will also provide funding to support emerging technologies. An additional $800 million in venture capital will be made available over the next four years to assist Illinois-based high-tech start-up firms.

Ryan said VentureTECH will nurture and expand Illinois' role in the economy of the 21st century. "VentureTECH is a commitment to research and development, biotechnology, health sciences, advanced physics and information technology. It addresses the needs of basic research, construction and infrastructure, and it provides seed money to help turn laboratory work into marketable products that create jobs for Illinois workers," Ryan added.

The Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center will be located on the southeast corner of Superior Street and Fairbanks Court on Northwestern's Chicago campus. Construction is expected to be completed in 2002.


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