CHICAGO – Governor George H. Ryan announced today that he has released $11 million in Illinois FIRST funds to help Loyola University build a new Life Sciences Education and Research Building at the school’s lakeshore campus, a facility that will further enhance Illinois’ position as a national leader in biotechnology and health sciences.
Ryan said the state money from Illinois FIRST is an important part of the $450 million project, which is being built at Loyola’s campus in Rogers Park. University officials estimate that the new research and teaching building will generate as much as $50 million in new federal and private research grants.
“In nearly four years, Illinois FIRST has helped public and private universities across the state add new research facilities and renovate existing laboratories so they can not only compete in the race for new technology, but stand a very good chance of leading that race,” Ryan said.
“Through Illinois FIRST and Illinois VentureTECH, more than $375 million in state assistance has been dedicated to new laboratories, research facilities, classrooms and support facilities throughout Illinois to advance the study of medicine, health sciences and biotechnology. Our effort is one the nation’s leading programs to support high technology and our growing high-tech economy.”
The new Loyola building will house teaching laboratories, offices for the school’s department of biology, an animal care facility, educational and research support, a 200-seat auditorium, seminar rooms and large group spaces.
More than 1,200 biotechnology, medical and pharmaceutical companies are located in Illinois. The state ranks fifth nationally in the growth of high technology firms and third nationally in technology exports, with $18 billion in sales.
Illinois FIRST is the governor’s five-year, $12 billion program to rebuild and improve the state’s vital infrastructure, roads, education facilities and mass transit systems. Since 1999, more than 14,000 projects have been funded throughout Illinois. Throughout the life of the program, Illinois FIRST will return approximately $7 billion statewide to working men and women in the form of wages and benefits.
Illinois VentureTECH is the governor’s $2 billion state effort to boost Illinois’ high-tech economy with the construction of needed facilities, infrastructure and research support in order to create jobs and economic development in various technology-related fields. VentureTECH was launched in 2000 and in three years has generated more than $4 billion in further private and public investments.