Following is the text of a February 21 letter from GBC president Donald C. Fry to Senate Budget and Taxation Committee chairman Ullysses Currie voicing support for including $13.5 million in the FY 2007 capital budget for the proposed Center for Regenerative Research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore:
Dear Senator Currie:
Please allow this letter to serve as a statement of support for full funding for the proposed Center for Regenerative Research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark. As you know, the FY’07 budget includes $13.5 million to build and operate this proposed Center, which would be a boon to the region and a jewel in the crown of the bioscience community in Greater Baltimore.
The Center will serve as a catalyst for commercializing regenerative research. In this building, academic and corporate researchers would work side by side on projects with promising technologies that could ultimately cure or alleviate some of the world’s most devastating diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Other bioscience centers around the country have received funding for centers in this field and are moving quickly to establish dominance. With the rich resources we have in Maryland in terms of academic researchers, we can not afford to let our best and brightest be lured to other areas where top grade facilities and assured funding are put forth as incentives. More importantly, we have the intellectual capital to do top grade research in this field right here. It would be imprudent to deny world-class researchers, both academic and corporate, the facilities and tools they need to succeed.
The Center would give Maryland the capacity to commercialize university regenerative medicine technologies. From these technologies, we could reasonably expect to see new start-up companies emerge that would provide jobs and pay taxes. Finally, the Center would give our state the ability to recruit and retain regenerative medicine companies and academic researchers – a tremendous advantage to a region that wants to grow its bioscience industry.
The Greater Baltimore Committee and its five hundred member companies see the creation of the Center for Regenerative Research as a sound business investment and as an excellent way to generate jobs and to do well by doing good.
Donald C. Fry