Monday, May 02, 2005

Surprise: San Francisco Gets the Nod

San Francisco is the first choice recommendation for the new headquarters of the California stem cell agency.

Happy supporters of the bid released the news about 15 minutes ago on the Internet even before it was posted by the agency. Here is the item from the Bay Area Council.

"Today, Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, released the following statement regarding the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Site Search Subcommittee's decision to make San Francisco their first choice recommendation for the Institute's new headquarters.

"Today's announcement is one of the final steps towards cementing the Bay Area's role as the center of biotechnology in the world. If approved by the 29-member Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee on May 6, this may be the psychological turnaround point for the Bay Area -- a historical marker of when the economic recovery began in earnest.

"We already have the most important companies in biotechnology. We were the birthplace of the industry. We have the world's largest concentration of life sciences companies, with more than 820. If we win the headquarters of the $3 billion stem cell institute, the Bay Area's leadership in this industry will grow further.

"The message this choice would send out is that if you want to either conduct cutting-edge research, or grow a company, or find a good job in biotechnology and stem cell research, you must come to the Bay Area.

"The contest to win the Institute's headquarters has been one of the hottest and most competitive in recent California history. The site search subcommittee has been under tremendous pressure from all involved. They are to be congratulated for running the process fairly and to the letter of the law. Since they held themselves up to such high standards, the entire state can know that the committee's recommendation is in the best interest of stem cell research and the people of California.

"Locating the stem cell institute headquarters in the Bay Area will help grow an already robust industry cluster in the region -- one that pays good dividends to our residents. The biotechnology industry contributes more than $12 billion to the Bay Area economy each year and employs more than 79,000 people. Bay Area biotech jobs pay an average of $80,000, which is 35 percent higher than normal for our region. Our research institutes draw in more than $900 million a year in grants for biotechnology research. Biotech is a true engine of our economy and will likely be key to our recovery." Sphere: Related Content

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