PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Raimondo, along with business and education leaders, today called on the House Finance Committee to support an innovation campus bond question for the November ballot.
"Rhode Island needs to skate to where the puck will be in the new economy," Raimondo said. "This proposal will create unique opportunities that will foster more research and development initiatives and encourage innovative companies to come to our state, creating more high-skill, high-wage jobs."
"Partnerships among universities, medical centers and companies provide a launchpad for cutting-edge innovation," Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said."We need to create innovation campuses that enable and foster such partnerships. These campuses will attract private capital, propel business growth, and create jobs. It will take leadership and investment from the state to catalyze interest but, if we find the way, we will create hubs of public-private collaboration and will generate economic energy."
"The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the Governor's innovation campus bond referendum proposal," Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce President Laurie White said. "This is money that will encourage further investment from the business community to turn these innovation campuses into thriving centers of new research and commercialization. This in turn, we believe, will deliver well-paid jobs for Rhode Islanders in fields that are crucial to our future."
"The University of Rhode Island is strongly positioned in multiple fields to act as an anchor institution in one or more of the innovation campuses that would be created by this bond referendum," University of Rhode Island President Dr. David M. Dooley said. "We are committed to developing public-private partnerships that utilize our state's unique academic strengths. We believe innovation campuses will be magnets for companies, talent and investment in Rhode Island."
"As an innovation voucher recipient, we have experienced firsthand how the state is helping to build new research relationships among companies and university researchers, an effort which is long overdue," EpiVax Managing Director Cliff Grimm said. "The innovation campus would foster such partnerships on a larger scale, creating an innovation ecosystem that retains and draws talent, jobs and businesses to Rhode Island."
"As a company that is at the nexus of medicine and design, we are huge proponents of projects that bring partners together across areas of expertise to generate new ideas," Ximedica President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Barko said. "An innovation campus would allow companies like Ximedica to have unprecedented access to the research at partner universities and would encourage continued or even increased investment in the state. It's projects like the innovation campus that would make Rhode Island a destination for businesses looking to expand their research and development."