November 22, 2004: Headlines: COS - Tunisia: Politics: New Democrats Online: Jim Doyle is New Dem of the Week

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tunisia: Special Report: RPCV Jim Doyle, Governor of Wisconsin: Special Report: Governor and Tunisa RPCV Jim Doyle: November 22, 2004: Headlines: COS - Tunisia: Politics: New Democrats Online: Jim Doyle is New Dem of the Week

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Jim Doyle is New Dem of the Week

Jim Doyle is New Dem of the Week

Jim Doyle is New Dem of the Week

New Dem of the Week: Jim Doyle
Governor, Wisconsin

Today's innovation-based and technology-driven economy has changed the ways Americans work, live and communicate. For many state and local elected officials, promoting opportunity and prosperity in their regions means supporting new ventures that thrive on the flow of information and test the bounds of science. Fostering an environment that welcomes that type of research and exploration often creates a ripple effect of benefits extending from the improved quality of life for local residents from greater employment opportunities to world-changing scientific discoveries.

Last week, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle unveiled a new comprehensive strategy to make his state a leader in the fields of biotechnology, health sciences, and stem cell research. He proposed a series of targeted investments that aim to leverage Wisconsin's current institutions and experts while removing bureaucratic obstacles. At the forefront of Doyle's new strategy is the creation of the new Wisconsin Institute for Discovery on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

"Wisconsin leads the world in groundbreaking biomedical research, but we need to continue to move forward," Doyle said. "The state, in partnership with the University and our other private partners, has an aggressive and comprehensive strategy to ensure that we remain at the forefront not only of scientific discoveries, but of creating thousands of new high-tech jobs."

The $375 million Institute for Discovery will be home to experts specializing in nanotechnology, computer engineering, and biochemistry. Researchers at the public-private institution will have the independence to convert their discoveries into viable marketplace ventures which promise to create even more jobs and generate new investment. The Institute will also house WiCell, a foundation that will use both private and federal funding to pursue stem-cell research.

Wisconsin has long been a leader in stem cell research. In 1998, the first stem cells were isolated by James Thomson a biologist, based at UW-Madison. While California voters made news a few weeks ago by pledging $3 billion over 10 years for stem-cell research, Doyle -- who stood with Thomson at last week's announcement -- couldn't help but point with pride to his state's already decade-long record in leading stem-cell research.

"This is not a competition where someone wins and someone loses," Doyle said. "What California does will not diminish Wisconsin's role; if anything there will be a synergy between our two states."

Doyle's plan for maintaining Wisconsin's leadership in technology and science also includes:

* The removal of bureaucratic hurdles for faculty members who want to become entrepreneurs;

* Providing venture capital through the Department of Commerce to start-up businesses;

* A new $134 million HealthStar Interdisciplinary Research Complex near the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics dedicated to innovation and the rapid transfer of medical science discoveries into clinical applications;

* A new $132 million research facility that will focus on infectious disease control, cardiovascular illnesses, and bioengineering;

* $1.5 million annually to support a new Alzheimer's research initiative; and

* Investments to make progress in areas such as regenerative medicine, stem cell research, molecular medicine, neuroscience, and cancer research.

Each element targets a specific need in the scientific community. Bringing them together in a comprehensive statewide strategy, Doyle is striving to maximize their benefits to the economy as a whole. Encouraging research is important because it creates high-skill, high-paying jobs, both in the companies conducting the research and potentially in the broader economy as industries benefit from new innovations.

Doyle recognized that such investments have a long history in the Dairy State: "Wisconsin has always pushed the frontiers of science and discovery, especially in agriculture and life sciences. From Professor Babcock's test for fat in milk to James Thomson's stem cell breakthrough, Wisconsin has served the world through groundbreaking research. Now we can have a profound effect on the quality of life in the 21st century."

When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: New Democrats Online

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