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News | 4 min read

Governor eyes “Virginia’s Research Triangle” with $90m investment  

December 11, 2023

Virginia's Research Triangle

RICHMOND, VA – Gov. Glenn Youngkin today announced that Virginia will make a significant investment to launch a biotechnology, life sciences, and pharmaceutical manufacturing network to foster collaboration among three of the Commonwealth’s major existing university research institutions.

In his upcoming biennial budget, scheduled to be released on December 20th, the Governor will include a total of $90 million in one-time funds to the University of Virginia’s Manning Institute for Biotechnology, Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, and the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medicines for All Institute. The institutions will partner with the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority to collaborate on commercialization and startup support.

“Today’s investment announcement lays the groundwork for remarkable startup innovation and commercialization that interconnects Charlottesville, the Greater Richmond Area, Roanoke and the New River Valley. Through this state commitment and private philanthropy, we are building Virginia’s research triangle and network, supporting our higher education institutions’ research endeavors, and expanding Virginia’s university research capacity that will enhance life-saving research development for generations to come,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin. “My administration is committed to building Virginia’s research engine for the future and creating high-paying jobs in the process.”

“For the last decade, VCU’s Medicine for All Institute has led the world in developing innovations to making medicines by lowering costs, strengthening supply resilience, and increasing quality. As we look towards the next decade of the advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Virginia, Medicine for All is excited to be a partner in growing the capabilities and job opportunities this industry can bring to the Commonwealth. Governor Youngkin’s continued investment and support is helping make this a reality and we are grateful to be a part of this important initiative,” said Dr. Frank Gupton, Co-Founder, Phlow and CEO, Medicines for All.

“The Commonwealth will greatly benefit from this major collaborative initiative from Governor Youngkin to advance biomedical research, innovation and translation at and between the states major academic health centers. This investment will not only advance the ongoing biomedical and health sciences research at the states three largest academic medical centers but will facilitate increased collaboration and innovation between them,” said Dr. Mike Friedlander, Executive Director of Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and Virginia Tech Vice President of Health Sciences and Technology. “At this time in history, the most impactful advances in medicine come from multi- and trans- disciplinary team science that requires groups with complementary expertise working together across institutions. This initiative will provide such an opportunity for researchers at UVA, VCU, and VTC to accelerate these advances for the benefit of the health of all. In addition to catalyzing research breakthroughs and their applications for improved health, this investment will contribute to the enhanced growth of the bioscience commercialization ecosystem across the state through development of intellectual property and emerging biotechnology companies, working closely with our academic medicine institutions.”

“We are exceptionally grateful for the Governor’s announcement today of the Commonwealth’s additional funding for the UVA Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, CEO of UVA Health and Executive Vice President of Health Affairs for University of Virginia. “We look forward to continued collaboration with our other university research colleagues and the full spectrum of bioscience partners across Virginia.”

“Innovation is at the heart of a thriving economy and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today’s landmark investment announced by Governor Youngkin will help accelerate university collaboration and elevate Virginia’s leadership in the critical biotech, life sciences, and pharmaceutical manufacturing health sectors,” said Joseph Benevento, President of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA).

The Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority will convene the three institutions to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Authority and each other. Once the MOU is signed by the three institutions and by VIPA, $50 million will be available for UVA’s Manning Institute for Biotechnology, $27 million will be available for Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, and $13 million will be available for VCU’s Medicines for All Institute.