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Gov. Timothy M. Kaine
Announcement RE: SRI International
Richmond, Virginia
11 a.m.
December 14, 2006

Gov. Tim Kaine:

Gov. Tim Kaine
Gov. Tim Kaine

I am happy to announce today that SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research organization, founded 60 years ago as the Stanford Research Institute, will establish its new Center for Advanced Drug Research in Rockingham County. The project will ultimately create more than a hundred new jobs with an average annual compensation of over $85,000 dollars.

But as Dr. Curt Carlson, SRI’s CEO, and I will describe to you in more detail, this ground-breaking project is about so much more than the number of jobs and the salaries.

It will transform Virginia’s research efforts, at not just James Madison University, but at numerous universities and enable us to realize our potential in attracting grants and developing new products and valuable techniques that can be commercialized and put to market.

SRI’s new center, which is called CADRE, again, Center for Advanced Drug Research, will partner with James Madison University and other Virginia institutions of higher education in research efforts. SRI, which also has a facility in Arlington, and other facilities and institutions around the world, has a legacy of ground-breaking contributions — from the invention of the computer mouse, to research for the International Cancer Institute and a malaria treatment that has saved millions of lives.

I applaud the leadership of the House and Senate for their support of this project — many of those who have been active or are here with me and will speak in a few minutes — they have been involved in this process for many months and work with SRI’s leadership to make sure that this project is the right fit for Virginia and the right fit for Rockingham County.

 

Also:
What SRI means for JMU.

And I will say parenthetically, that I have never worked on a project with so many people where there has been no leaks of any kind… [laughter]…prior to the announcement. I heartily approve of this.

SRI’s Center for Advanced Drug Research is not a traditional economic development project in an old model, in terms of primarily focusing on numbers of jobs or dollars of investment. While jobs and investment were important factors, there were other significant benefits to be taken into consideration. And the benefits of this unique project will be felt statewide.

First and foremost, CADRE’s presence in Virginia will catapult the Commonwealth’s position as a biotech powerhouse. CADRE joins the likes of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Eli Lilly, American Type Culture Collection, Wyeth, Barr Laboratories, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, right here in Virginia, the biotech research park UNOS, and other tenants of that park, all of which will welcome SRI as they’ll all benefit from the significant amount of research dollars SRI gains from both the federal government and other sources, including private industry for which SRI does research.

Annual CADRE research funding is projected to reach $700,000 dollars in the center’s second year of operation. As CADRE employment increases, research funds will continue to grow over the next 10 years, cumulative research funding in this facility, by CADRE, is expected to reach the level, in excess of $180 million.

The increased research opportunities resulting from the partnership will be a tremendous asset to our universities. In addition to advanced drug research, SRI will leverage its great expertise to open more doors in the fields of bio-threats and homeland security, engineering, nanotechnology, energy and information technology, where Virginia has already made very significant advances.

James Madison University has been a great partner in the development of this project and JMU will accelerate the development of the state of the art biolabs space and lease it to SRI. Once SRI moves into the new facility, JMU will retain the biolab, and its students can take advantage of the new laboratory space.

The project will not only bring research opportunities for our universities but also spin off employment opportunities to attract and retain college graduates in Virginia. These spin-off companies created as a result of CADRE’s operations in the Commonwealth, will provide for additional revenue, additional employment, and will help further strengthen and diversify the economy in the Shenandoah Valley.

For those of you who are familiar with the SRI story, it is this spinoff activity that, in some ways, is the most exciting part. This is an institution that really is a world-class leader in research, to find knowledge, but then making research applicable and practical though innovation. And those spinoff opportunities are the great and exciting thing about today’s announcement.

The decision to establish this center in Rockingham County is in keeping with all of our efforts to provide quality job opportunities across the Commonwealth, especially in areas of the state that are more rural. CADRE will be located in the county’s, Rockingham County’s new Center for Research and Technology Park, adjacent to the City of Harrisonburg’s Technology Incubator. For all these reasons, I have agreed to include in my proposed budget, and you’ll hear me mention this tomorrow, $12 million, of the remaining $19 million that SRI needs to jumpstart its research efforts in Virginia. This is in addition to $3 million dollars that the General Assembly approved during the ’06 budget discussions for this very, very worthy project.

As a nonprofit corporation, SRI does not have the ability to provide up front investment dollars that we typically see. But as I said before, this is not a typical project. All of us, coming into this, I say have done our due diligence and when we look at the SRI story and what SRI has done in its really spectacular history since the 1950s, know that this is an investment that’s going to be one of the easiest investment decisions the Commonwealth ever makes in terms of its likely payoff. We are very fortunate that SRI has decided to locate its newest base of operations right here within a short distance of our nation’s capital, because it will revolutionize both existing university research in our workforce opportunities.

Virginia offers many benefits, including qualified labor, connectivity to clients, our robust telecommunications infrastructure and a low-cost business environment. We’re also connected in a very powerful way with the global economy through the notable assets of Dulles and the Port of Virginia and also through the brainpower of our state universities and other learning institutions. These will be complimented in a wonderful way by SRI.

I’d like to invite Dr. Curt Carlson, who’s the president and CEO of SRI International, to join me at the podium. Dr. Carlson and I have had a chance to talk a lot during the course, really, in the last 10 or 11 months, and I would say this by way of compliment: I don’t think you can, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to someone where my brain has had to race as fast to stay up with him as Curt Carlson; and the racing is a pleasure because I feel like when we are talking I really get a glimpse of what the future of innovation will be and it makes me excited to know, that Virginia, which has been on the cutting edge, can stay on the cutting edge in innovation.

So Curt, I would like you to come up and say a few words and then I’ll introduce legislators and others who might also want to say a couple of words about this project. Curt… welcome to Virginia. [applause]

Dr. Curt Carlson, SRI International:

Thank you, Gov. Kaine, and thank you, Dr. Rose, and all the team that’s assembled here.

It’s really an honor for us to be here to announce our exciting partnership, and I must say it’s also been a wonderful experience receiving the hospitality of everyone in Virginia that we’ve dealt with. It’s been just a wonderful, wonderful experience. In return, as the governor said, I believe one of the best gifts that SRI can give to the Commonwealth is to make SRI-Shenandoah Valley and our new Center for Advanced Drug Research a huge success.

I want to thank Gov. Kaine and the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates for the $22 million commitment to SRI. That commitment, combined with the support of Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, James Madison University, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, will make our new facility and the Center for Advanced Drug Research a reality here in Virginia.

Having celebrated our 60th anniversary this year, SRI is no stranger to research and innovation. And with our existing Arlington facility, SRI is no stranger to Virginia either. SRI’s work around the world has focused on solving, what we call, important problems, important global issues, in areas as diverse as health, energy, the environment and education. In fact, you can hardly go a day without touching something that's come from SRI — as the governor said, from the computer mouse, to the Internet, to electronic bank checking and high-definition television. We’ve formed, literally, dozens of new companies and we’ve created billions of dollars of new economic value.

SRI also has a legacy of important contributions in the fields of drug discovery and development. Working with government and industry partners, SRI has advanced more than a hundred drugs into clinical trials and more than 30 drugs onto the market, and as the governor said, and we’ve developed one of the first drug-resistant malaria drugs for the U.S. Army which has saved millions and millions of lives.

Today SRI’s spirit of innovation is expanding in Virginia to include Shenandoah Valley. SRI-Shenandoah Valley will focus initially on drug research, as we’ve described. Our new Center for Advanced Drug Research will advance the state of the art to improve the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry, to help our nation respond to biothreats and to develop life-saving treatments for neglected and orphaned diseases.

Our goal is to develop new therapies and vaccines using the emerging science of proteomics, which will improve our understanding of the causes of disease, help streamline drug development, and, one day, make personalized medicine cost effective and a reality. Overtime, we will broaden our research collaborations to include other Virginia academic institutions, and we will add other strategic programs, such as in information technology and education.

The programs we build together, through cutting-edge research and technology commercialization will help to further develop Virginia’s growing biosciences and research and development cluster, which is already becoming known around the world as one of the key areas for R&D in the medical sciences and other technologies. And, as part of that, add to the other capabilities in the state to make Virginia become a magnet for new investments. New research opportunities and new high-tech jobs will result, offering Virginia science graduates and professionals exciting opportunities here in the Commonwealth with your extraordinary quality of life.

Creating new jobs and opportunities in Virginia extend SRI’s legacy of research and commercialization. SRI’s mission, since our founding in 1946 as a nonprofit research scientific institute, is discovery and the application of science and technology for knowledge, commerce, prosperity and peace, and this is what we’ll do in Virginia as well.

SRI’s thrilled to be here, and we’re confident that SRI-Shenandoah Valley, with our great partners, will play a leading role in driving research, innovation and commercialization in Virginia. Thank you, Gov. Kaine, thank you for the entire team and thank you all for your vision, your commitment, your hard work and your support to make this day possible. We’re looking forward to building our exciting new home in your beautiful state, the state of Virginia.

Thank you all so much.
[Applause]

Gov. Kaine:

I’d like to offer some of the individuals from the legislature and Dr. Rose, who have been involved with this an opportunity to speak, and so first, if I could introduce two senators who are here, who have been involved in this in a critical way: Sen. John Chichester first, then after Sen. Chichester, Sen. Emmett Hanger.
Sen. Chichester…

Sen. John H. Chichester (R-District 28):


Sen. John Chichester

Thank you, Governor. Gov. Kaine and distinguished guests, you don’t know how excited I am, and I know you are excited as well, to be able to have this wonderful experience, of this new creation in Rockingham County. While it’s not new to Virginia, it’s new to your area and the Shenandoah Valley. We’re all very, very excited about it.

To have seen this grow from the embryo stage, in the legislative process, to small appropriations, keeping it relatively quiet and under our hat to come to this day, is really remarkable in two ways: that it was well under our hats and to see it come to fruition. Dr. Carlson, we are excited to have you in Virginia, and CADRE, SRI is precisely the kind of economic development we want to have in Virginia. We are open for business, we are the most business-friendly state in the Union, and we are excited to have you with us. Thanks so very much.

Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-District 24):


Sen. Emmett Hanger Jr.

And thank you all for being here today at this exciting moment. You know, up in the Shenandoah Valley, we actually fairly particular about who we allow to come up there and set up shop… [laughter] Indeed, indeed we are, I think, fairly aggressive working to preserve our traditions of our agriculture and tourism base. But along with that, we recognize the importance of a good mix, and this certainly is a plum and we’re all excited about the opportunities that will be presented.

Sen. Chichester, back during the session, the governor had introduced his budget, the former governor, and it was too late and we had to get an amendment in. I was very pleased when we ran that by the staff and, ultimately, to Sen. Chichester, he gave a thumbs-up, and we’re going to put some money in to get this project started. The governor has been extremely, extremely vital to the success of this important project. (Aside) I heard you did a good job on him [laughter]. And he has brought us all to the table and made a long-term commitment and, indeed, it’s a good investment, not only for the Valley as been indicated, but for the entire state as this will become a research hub; and their track record speaks well, but as in any endeavor, certainly the Rockingham officials that approached us, initially and JMU, Dr. Rose, in getting behind this project, the work still has to be done. This will be a great day, a great start, but we’ll all have to pay attention as this provides the proof in the pudding down the road. Thank you all very much. I thank my colleagues and the governor for supporting this tremendous project.
[Applause]

Gov. Kaine:

Now I’d like to bring forward three delegates who have also played a great role in this project. In this order. I’d like us to hear from Delegate Steve Landes, then Delegate Chris Saxman, then finally, Delegate Matt Lohr.

Delegate Steve Landes (R-25th District):


Del. Steve Landes

Let me just say, first and foremost, I want to thank the governor for his leadership in working on this project and really being committed to moving this forward. And I want to thank also Sen. Chichester, Sen. Hanger, Speaker Howell, who is not here, and Chairman Callahan on the House side who’ve been very supportive of this and I know they want me to lend their congratulations to Dr. Carlson for his efforts and for SRI locating in the Shenandoah Valley.

I also want to especially thank Dr. Rose and JMU because, without them, I’m not sure this would have occurred. JMU is the reason that SRI really is looking at the Shenandoah Valley and looking at expanding research in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

I also have to say, it wouldn’t occur if the localities weren’t willing and really working hard to promote this kind of economic development effort in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. And also the Shenandoah Valley Partnership and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership; they had, obviously, a key role in making this come about.

And Governor, I too am very surprised that nobody has heard about this until today. Even with the $3 million in the budget, there wasn’t a word. Nobody questioned anything, and that’s very unusual for an economic development effort. But I also want to say that my hope is that this is the type of economic development that the Valley will continue to have and expand upon because research is going to be the future, I believe, for Virginia in many, many areas. And I hope this will also be the beginning of what will become, the Shenandoah Valley becoming the Silicon Valley for the East Coast. And SRI played a big part in what happened in California and I’m hoping that we’ll see that replicated here. So I just want to thank everybody again, and I’m glad to have had played a little role in trying to make this come about. Thank you very much.
[applause]

Delegate Chris Saxman (R-20th District):


Del. Chris Saxman

Good morning, everyone. I won’t belabor the thanks, but I can’t help but thank Sen. Chichester and the Governor and the good folks at SRI. Throughout this whole process, it’s been amazing that no one has found out. I think that it's for the very reason that it’s the perfect fit. Everyone liked this project. From the very beginning, everyone was, like, that’ll work; people back home will agree to that one. Because, in the Shenandoah Valley, we have a quality of life, as the supervisors are here and the county administrators, that we have a nice quality of life that, frankly, we can be a little bit choosier, and that’s a great position to be in. And then when we first met with SRI, I was on the phone coming back from the meeting and my wife said, “What was that meeting all about?” and I said, “Well, I think I found our son’s future employer.” [laughter] And while that’s kind of a throwaway line, but I think it’s going to be actually true because some, as Robin well knows from Highland County, we educate our kids, we have a great quality of life and then they leave. And, in the Shenandoah Valley, that’s a quality-of-life issue that our families, sort of, go away and we don’t want that. It’s sort of the transition from the agriculture-based economy to a technological-based economy. We want to have our kids back, we want to have our families together and closer, not just by e-mail and cell phone. So I’m thrilled for the families of the Shenandoah Valley whose children are being educated and going to places like JMU and Tech and UVA; they can come home. I think when the people realize the job opportunities for our economy in the Shenandoah Valley that the people are going to embrace SRI and they’ll be a welcome part of our community in the Shenandoah Valley for many, many years to come.

So I want to thank SRI for choosing wisely and the people in the Shenandoah Valley for accepting them with open arms. Thank you.
[applause]

Delegate Matt Lohr (R-26th District):


Del. Matt Lohr

What a great day it is for, not only the Shenandoah Valley, but for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, and it is indeed an honor for me to stand here with these distinguished folks this morning and welcome SRI to Virginia and just say how excited we are to have you. You know, when I look around the room and see so many different facets of people from our community, I think the word that really sums it all up is cooperation, because this truly has been a project where so many people have come together from SRI, and the governor, the House and the Senate, JMU being a major player, and as Chris eluded to too, our local governments and the city and the county have all had to come together to make this project work. In my short tenure in politics, I realize that doesn’t always happen when everyone comes together to agree. So it’s been real exciting to watch and to be a part of, and as the delegate who represents Harrisonburg and northern Rockingham County, I wanted to say, “Welcome, we’re excited to have you as our neighbor.” I’m just excited about all of the possibilities and opportunities that are out there. It truly is an industry for the next century. And so we’re just really, really excited for you to be here. Welcome, and hopefully we can continue this positive relationship. Thank you.
[applause]

Gov. Kaine:

And, finally, if there is sort of a "but for” cause for this, it certainly is JMU. We worked to put a deal together, but I’m not sure if there would have been an interest in the deal had it not been for the very, very strong beginnings of a relationship that had developed between SRI and JMU. SRI liked what they saw, not only in research capacity, but in the model of research that JMU has used, where they have really focused on cross-disciplinary research, and so, for that, we have a lot to be thankful for, and I would like to bring to the podium Linwood Rose, president of JMU.
[applause]

Dr. Linwood Rose, James Madison University:

Good morning, and let me first, also say thank you to the governor who has provided inspired leadership throughout our communications about this possibility. I also want to thank the chairman, the speaker and other members of the general assembly for their support. This is really a story about my ineffectiveness as a communicator, because I’ve been talking about this for a year and no one seemed to know.
[laughter]

I’ll be very brief: I simply want to say that our partnership with SRI International really is a marriage that is brought about by a common commitment to collaboration and how we operate and to innovation. Those are really the two key components. They represent what we try to do at JMU on a daily basis, and this decision, I think, really represents a validation of the scholarship and talent that exist amongst our faculty and our students at JMU. So, we look forward to this relationship and know that it will last a long time. Curt, welcome to the Valley. Thank you.
[applause]

Gov. Kaine:

Cooperation is what makes it happen and this is kind of near the end of the year, just not a bad time to step back and say that for economic development, which is one of those bipartisan issues that we all focus on, 2006 has been a wonderful year in Virginia. Just off the top of my head: Early in the year, coaxing MeadWestvaco have move their corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Virginia, the celebration earlier in the fall in Danville where IKEA decided to open up its first American production facility in Danville. The Forbes.com recognition of Virginia as the best state in America to do business, and this announcement, together with many, many other announcements across the Commonwealth demonstrate that on the economic development side, we’re doing it right from a regulatory standpoint, we’re doing it right from a tax standpoint and we’re always hungry to do better.

I can look ahead into 2007 and know that we’ll be standing at many other events like this. The one that immediately comes to mind is we will be clipping a ribbon to open the largest private port terminal in North America when Maersk comes online in the summer of 2007; that and many, many other great days are in store for us in Virginia if we all work together.

I want to bring Curt forward because we have a little gift for him.

We have, we always make this a tradition when we have economic development deals to present to a new entrant into the Commonwealth, a flag that has flown over the capital just recently, we want you to be able to fly this over your institution, the CADRE center in Rockingham. Remember this day, and remember the fact that we are your very, very grateful partner, as we go forward. So, again, another round of applause, please, for Curt.
[applause]

Published December 2006 by JMU Media Relations