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PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 23, No. 8, Oct. 16, 2003

Governor releases $82 million in capital projects
University plays important role in state economic development

Remarking that the university environment also can serve as an economic engine, Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Oct. 10 that he will release $82 million in state capital dollars to fund a laboratory addition at the UI’s Urbana-Champaign campus and construction of a lab at the Chicago campus.

During his visit, the governor also congratulated the university for being the home of two Nobel Prize winners and one Crafoord Prize winner in one year. Joining the governor and UI President James Stukel at the announcement were Nobel Prize winners Paul Lauterbur for physiology or medicine and Anthony Leggett for physics; and Carl Woese who won the Crafoord Prize, which is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for biosciences.

“When we award state funds, we generally look at certain criteria: need, the availability of matching funds, or potential for economic growth,” said the governor. “But let me tell you, knowing that money we award will be used to help further the research of a faculty that has two Nobel Prize winners and one Crafoord Prize winner this year alone certainly helps.”

The governor released $18 million for expansion and remodeling of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. The laboratory is a multidisciplinary research facility in the College of Engineering that supports research in photonics, microelectronics, nanotechnology and biotechnology.

The governor also released $64 million to build the Advanced Chemical Technology Laboratory at the UI’s Chicago campus. The proposed new building (117,000 net square feet) will replace existing space that is both limited and outdated and will allow for the creation of an interdisciplinary Institute of Environmental Science and Policy, bringing faculty together who have succeeded at commercializing products. The proposed Institute of Environmental Science and Policy will serve as a clearinghouse for more than 40 faculty members in six colleges, who will tackle complex, interdisciplinary problems.

“Building the Advanced Chem Lab doesn’t only mean developing new products that will help create new jobs, it means developing new products that will help people survive deadly diseases,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “These are exactly the kinds of investments we should be making in the University of Illinois.”

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