Langevin Announces Federal Funds for URI Biotechnology Center

Jul 12, 2001
(Washington, D.C.)–Freshman Congressman Jim Langevin today announced that the House passed the $74.6 billion Agriculture Apportions Bill last night, which includes $190,000 for the University of Rhode Island’s Environmental Biotechnology Program, by a 414-16 margin.  Langevin personally requested the federal funds in April of 2001.

 “The University of Rhode Island serves as a critical institution of higher learning in the State of Rhode Island,” said Congressman Langevin.  “This federal appropriation will provide the University with additional financial resources to continue the growth and expansion of URI’s diverse academic departments.  The environmental biology center will engage in groundbreaking research right here in our backyard.”

 URI plans to use the federal funds to create an interdisciplinary environmental biology center, which will bring together all of the school's programs that study plant, animal, and microbial genetic material.  Federal funding will provide assistance to the university to purchase equipment for its planned state-of-the-art laboratories.

 Langevin appealed to Congressman Henry Bonilla (R-TX), Chairman of the  House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, in request of the funds, stating: 

“To expand study and teaching of this scientific area, URI is developing an Environmental Biotechnology Initiative, which will combine the school’s biotechnological sciences into one multidisciplinary center.  The university’s current facilities are insufficient for the technical and physical requirements of this program.  Identifying biotechnology-based industries as a top priority to enhance regional economic growth, the state of Rhode Island has committed to raising $58 million in bond revenue for the construction of an Environmental Biotechnology center at URI.  However, the university requires additional funding for equipment acquisition and planning.”

The Agriculture Appropriations Bill still requires approval by the United States Senate.