Cornell and Private Industry To Fund Biotechnology Institute

ITHACA. N.Y.--Cornell is "pushing rapidly" to solicit funds from the federal and state governments and private industry for a new biotechnology institute on campus, Provost W. Keith Kennedy said recently.

The university first announced plans to set up the institute at a Board of Trustees meeting last May, and Kennedy discussed more details of the initiative during a speech last week at a regional workshop on university-industry cooperation.

The institute would be a joint venture between Cornell and four or five corporations willing to invest approximately $1 million each in the institute over an initial five-year period Patents secured by the institute would be held exclusively by the university, but the sponsoring corporations would be granted royalty free licenses to use them.

Kennedy said the university is currently negotiating with several prospective corporate partners, adding that Cornell has received "encouraging responses" He declined' to identify the corporations involved

The institute's primary purpose is to "expand knowledge" through basic research that later can be exploited through development and application by the participating corporations, Kennedy said.

Kennedy estimated that 40-45 faculty members would be involved with the institute, primarily from the Section of Biochemistry. Molecular and Cell Biology, as well as the Section of Genetics and Development and the disciplines of animal and plant science, The Cornell Daily Sun, the campus newspaper, reported recently.

University estimates indicate that the institute would have an annual operating budget of approximately $15 million Of this amount, $4 million would be provided by Cornell, from endowned and statutory funds, for faculty salaries and support services.

Another $4 million would come from the sponsoring corporations, while the rest would be provided through federal grants and contracts.