California grants ignite a boom of lab construction

After four years of litigation and detailed planning, the first $271 million in facilities grants is just about ready to be doled out by the California stem cell institute. And that in turn will trigger more than three-quarters of a billion dollars worth of new construction for the laboratories that are being designed to develop the stem cell therapies of the future.

In the Bay Area alone four projects are vying for funding. If all four win, builders will construct $443 million in new stem cell laboratories.

California's $3 billion stem cell initiative--which was bitterly opposed by conservative groups--has inspired universities in the state to come up with ambitious plans for new research centers, leveraging the bond money with hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money. The state's plans involve stepping in where the federal government has refused to tread for seven years, and they are well on their way to making the state a world leader in the field.

- read the report in the San Francisco Chronicle

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