California Stem Cell Agency Set To OK Funds To Build New Facilities
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is expected to sign off on more than $220 million in grants to help fund the construction of new stem cell research facilities statewide, the Los Angeles Times reports (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 5/7). The Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee, CIRM's governing board, is meeting today to give final approval on 12 grant applications.
The funds will come through Proposition 71, a 2004 ballot initiative that approved $3 billion in state bonds to fund stem cell research.
Through its facilities grants initiative, CIRM will cover between one-quarter and two-thirds of projected construction costs for new facilities. Applicants will have to cover the remainder of the construction costs with private fundraising.
Construction projects detailed in CIRM grant applications will total $832 million.
Grant applications exceeded the amount that Proposition 71 allocated for facilities construction by $18 million.
To address the difference, CIRM President Alan Trounson and ICOC Chair Robert Klein support a plan to reduce the largest grant awards by about 9%, rather than reject one of the grant applications outright (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/7).