Gov. Gray Davis has signed legislation that will provide $308 million in lease-revenue bonds to help build the four University of California Institutes for Science and Innovation and an additional $26.7 million to construct the first classroom building at UC Merced.
State funds provided under the bonds for the institutes must be matched on a 2-1 basis by non-state dollars. The funding mechanism creates a three-way partnership between the university, the state, and private industry.
"The governor and the legislature have acted boldly to ensure that the institutes will go forward with the research and discoveries that are vital to California's technology-oriented economy," UC President Richard C. Atkinson said.
Lease revenue bonds are sold by the state treasurer and the proceeds are used to fund construction costs for the institutes. Debt service on the bonds will be funded through lease payments made each year by the university, with funds provided by the state through the annual budget. Lease revenue bonds have been a common source of funding for capital projects, including many of the university's hospital projects and other critical life-safety projects.
The four institutes were first announced by Gov. Davis in December of 2000. Under the governor's plan, the state is investing $100 million in each institute, with every dollar from the state being matched with at least two dollars in non-state funding. Total funding for the initiative is expected to be no less than $1.2 billion, including $800 million in non-state matching funds.
The institutes and their participating campuses are:
1. The California Institute for Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Quantitative Biomedical Research (UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz)
2. The California Nanosystems Institute (UCLA, UC Santa Barbara)
3. California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (UC San Diego, UC Irvine)
4. Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz).
The University of California at Merced campus is expected to open in the fall of 2004 with an initial enrollment of 1,000 students.