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SRI International Wins $2M from Virginia for New Research Center

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — SRI International will receive $2 million from the state of Virginia in the state's new $82 billion budget for the two years starting July 1 — part of the funds committed by the state in return for the research institute building its recently-opened $22 million Center for Advanced Drug Research, or CADRE, in Harrisonburg, Va.

The incentive package, announced in 2006, was tied to SRI creating at least 100 jobs by the end of 2012 at CADRE — designed to fulfill the nonprofit research and technology development institute's longtime plan to expand its biosciences division to the East Coast.

SRI was originally envisioned to receive the $22 million in installments between the 2006 and 2008 fiscal years, but has instead yet to receive $3 million of that total, as state officials struggled to plug budget shortfalls blamed on the recession.

This year, Gov. Robert McDonnell sought the full $3 million in his proposed budget for 2010-11. Both houses of the state legislature or General Assembly whittled that request down to $1 million in FY 2011, before McDonnell included another $1 million for SRI in FY 2012 as part of a package of budget amendments approved by the state House and Senate on Wednesday.

The $22 million commitment was included in the incentive package negotiated by the administration of McDonnell's predecessor, Timothy Kaine, with officials from Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

Last November, Kaine and McDonnell led dignitaries in officially dedicating the new CADRE facility, which occupies the 40,000-square-foot first building to be completed within the Rockingham Center for Research and Technology.

CADRE aims to prevent, detect, and treat several infectious diseases by applying proteomics-based technologies to understand host-vector pathogen interactions. CADRE focuses on insect-borne viruses, respiratory and diarrheal pathogens, and diseases linked to parasitic protozoa, such as West Nile fever, dengue fever, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, and malaria.