NEW YORK, Oct. 31 (GenomeWeb News) - A Congressional committee has approved more than $7 million in funding for two agricultural biotechnology research centers at Cornell, according to a news report.
Cornell's Center for Health-Based Crop Genomics will receive $3.6 million to research plant genomics for use in renewable energy and human nutrition, and the Center for Grape Genetics will receive another $3.6 million to expand its grape genetics research program, the Democrat and Chronicle reported on its web site over the weekend.
The Agriculture Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2006 earmarked the funds to construct these facilities, according to the text of the bill, H.R. 2744. The Center for Health-Based Plant Genomics will be built on Cornell's Ithaca, NY, campus and the Center for Grape Genetics will be built in Cornell's technology park in Geneva, NY.
The Center for Health-Based Plant Genomics will be built on a parcel of federal land on the Cornell campus, according to a statement on Congressman Maurice Hinchey's House web site. Hinchey has already secured $6.9 million for the center in the last two years.
The new Grape Genetics Research Center, a state-of-the-art facility with laboratories, offices, common areas and greenhouses, is expected to cost $20 million and will ease overcrowding in the existing facility. Approximately $5.4 million has been secured for this project over the last two years.
The Agricultural Appropriations Conference Committee approved the funds under the fiscal year 2006 agriculture spending bill. The bill in its final form is expected to appear before the House by the end of this week before going to the Senate. President Bush is expected to sign it into law.
Cornell Genomics Initiative referred questions regarding the funding to public relations, who did not return the calls.