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Morgridge gift enables phase one of Institute for Discovery

Madison, Wis. — The planned Wisconsin Institute for Discovery has drawn the largest individual gift yet to the University of Wisconsin-Madison: $50 million from John and Tashia Morgridge.

The gift was matched by $50 million from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the State Building Commission has approved $50 million from the state as well, officials announced on Monday.

John Morgridge, chairman of the board of Cisco Systems and a UW-Madison alumnus, said in a release that he wanted to extend the Wisconsin Idea and that "the possibilities are endless." Tashia Morgridge, who also got her degree at UW-Madison and went on to teach in special education, said the institute would support not only research but outreach to K-12 programs.

Altogether, there's enough funding to start construction of the first phase of the planned $375 million institute in December 2007. Final approval is still needed from the UW Board of Regents and the Building Commission in April. The gifts are contingent on the Building Commission naming WARF as the project developer and approving a land swap with the university, according to WARF managing director Carl Gulbrandsen.

As originally planned, the Institute for Discovery will be part public, part private, potentially allowing research for which government funding is restricted, such as stem-cell studies. The private half will be named the Morgridge Institute for Research.
WARF will solicit research proposals for a seed grant program before the facility is built.

More about the Institute for Discovery:

Tom Still: Wisconsin leads in stem cell science, but trails in producing companies

What $750m means: a review of the state biotech plan

Wisconsin governor calls for $750 million investment in life sciences

More about biotech facilities and initiatives

Flu institute a booster shot for Wisconsin biotech stature

Alliance looks to create the right chemistry in SE Wisconsin


Robert responded 9 years ago: #1

Yes it's fun to play and imagine the spotlight shining, on us, for bio medical technology is THE high profile, glamour industry right now. But seriously folks, look at the reality that surrounds Madison, 1000s upon 1000s of acres of farm land which is being eaten up at an obnoxious rate with urban sprawl. Imagine a true perfect, Wisconsin Idea of biotechnology, were this state led the nation in biofuel production, and became the first in the U.S. to be truly energy independent.

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