Governor Baldacci joined by Travis Roy and researchers announced that he intends to increase R&D funding significantly for stem cell research. Photo by Dan Cashman




By Ramona du Houx

“Stem cell research holds the potential to lead to the most remarkable scientific advancements in medical history.

“We can’t risk the federal government dragging us backward on innovation,” said Governor Baldacci during an announcement where he promised more funds for R&D in the next budget.

The state has invested almost $3.5 million dollars in buildings and equipment at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute. That built a foundation to allow doctors to compete for federal research dollars which brought in an $11 million dollar stem cell grant.

“Here in Scarborough, stem cell research is positioning us for breakthroughs in therapy for damaged kidneys, bones, blood and blood vessels,” said the governor.

The governor also renewed his call on Congress to reverse the Bush administration’s ban on new lines of stem cells for public health research. “During my time as governor and congressman, I have met so many Mainers and their families who suffer from these conditions. I share with them the hope that stem cell research will unlock cures. We must respect the important ethical issues associated with all research, but we should not stay silent while some stand in the way of ethical and vital scientific and medical research.”

The scientific discoveries that could happen in Maine due to the Biomedical Research Triangle created by the governor could save lives, and will continue to grow Maine’s economy. The Triangle brings together research institutes, businesses, and government to collaborate on research and development. Working together new discoveries are being made.

The governor’s plan has created the new graduate school at UMO. Students will be working alongside professionals in R&D, all the while enjoying the opportunity of working within the Biomedical Triangle.

“During my administration to date, we have invested more in research and development in the last four years than during any other four year period in Maine’s history,” said Governor Baldacci. “When we talk about R&D, what we’re really talking about is high paying careers for Maine people, including our young college graduates, for our future.”

R & D Job Facts —

Research and Development in ME supports 11,000 jobs.
R&D between ’03 & ’05:
— Institutional personnel in R&D increased 67 percent.
— Faculty involved in R&D grew 66 percent.
— Institutional R&D space grew 40 percent.
The governor’s goal is to invest $1 billion in R&D by 2010.