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Feds Pledge $1B For Biomedical Facilities, Repair Projects

The U.S. Health and Human Services agency is pledging $1 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to construct, repair and renovate scientific research laboratories and related facilities across the country.

A total of 146 grants to institutions in 44 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were awarded to upgrade and construct buildings, laboratory spaces and core facilities that are crucial to biomedical and behavioral investigators.

"This unprecedented Recovery Act investment in research facility construction will not only give our world-class scientists the modern facilities they need for impact research, it will also help create and maintain jobs in varied business sectors and in all regions of our country," said the agency in a press statement.

These awards are part of an overall $100 billion federal government investment in science, innovation and technology the Administration is making through the Recovery Act to spur domestic job creation in emerging industries and create a long-term foundation for economic growth.

Among the projects is the Genome Data Center Initiative in St. Louis. The Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) will use a $14.3 million award to build a world-class data center to support human genome research. The new 15,000 square-foot data center will support the computational power and storage needs that projects like these require.

Another project is the Cell and DNA Repository Renovation in New Brunswick, N.J. The Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) has been awarded $9.5 million to renovate their biology laboratory. The construction grants awarded through the Recovery Act encouraged, and in many cases required, grantees to implement several primary elements of sustainable technologies and design principles. These elements ensure energy efficiency, reduction of the environmental impact of building materials and minimized use of compounds that deplete the ozone.

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