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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 9, 2008 1:27 AM. The previous post in this blog was Direct appeal. The next post in this blog is Consequences. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Finally, OHSU biotech jobs

Unfortunately, they're in Florida!

Comments (15)

This will require an extension of the aerial tram.

Dear god, you realize CoP/OHSU and Oregon are going to have to up the subsidies so we can build more new condos down there now.

What a bunch of chimps. They should have let OHSU move to Hillsboro. THe only thing entertaining now is what Adams' spin is going to be on this.

So typical.

Upside: very "mansion friendly" bankruptcy laws will limit personal liability for any docs who suffer (ahem!) litigious patients.

A few thoughts:
1) I'm glad Oregon didn't offer that same package of incentives. I'm guessing that OHSU just assumed those would be forthcoming here... and perhaps the spotlight that's been thrown on the SoWhat mess kept that from happening?
2) I wonder if the continued harrassment of the chimp scientists here played into this at all?

See, OHSU is bring jobs to the South Waterfront. They were just a little vague as to how far south and which body of water they were targeting.

It'll be interesting to see how much Jack's Debt Clock drops when OHSU returns a portion of their development money.

For future bio-tech jobs, OHSU received $200M from the tobacco settlement-taxpayers money; they received $300M in donations; they received $5M from Amendment 8 of SoWhat for their Health Club Building that was for bio-tech jobs; and now they are lobbying to receive $59 MILLION in the future SoWhat budget for bio-tech jobs. All taxpayers dollars.

These all total $564 MILLION taxpayer dollars, and not counting the obscured dollars given to OHSU, or the past SoWhat dollars given.

Not ONE bio-tech job has been generated, and the future looks bleak.

OHSUs' own bio-tech director who resigned said the OHSUs' bio-tech future looked bleak over two years ago.

In the proposed SoWhat URA budget under subgroup Economic Development, soon to be reviewed this January by the PDC Commission and the City Council, there are projects with titles like:
Bio-Science Business Accelarator,
Business Innovation Center,
Strategic Land Acquisition (taxpayers even get to buy OHSU and their interested, phantom bio-tech spin-offs additional land),
Quality Jobs Program,
Economic Opportunity Fund.

There is even a program for OHSU called Employee Assistance Home Ownership to help OHSU employees acquire a nice condo.

All these are at taxpayers expense, but no bio-tech job creation required.

Is this good policy of using urban renewal dollars in this fashion after the taxpayers have already contributed over $100M to SoWhat, with another $190M coming in just TIF dollars and who knows how many federal, state, or city millions?

We have contributed our fair share to entice economic development in SoWhat, more than our fair share. When is a performance audit going to require performance?


If Oregon wants to invest in biotech, you'd think forestry and agriculture would be a much better fit than medicine. Medical biotech industry is clustered in large population cities/states where there are a lot more resources/patients and big well-funded universities. This has turned from bad to worse - a true boondogle. I think this warrants an audit/investigation, possibly a criminal investigation.

Jim Newman here from OHSU.

I wanted to correct a few comments posted and provide a little more background.

First, the statement that the Oregon Opportunity has not resulted in the creation of Bioscience companies is incorrect. Since 2000, OHSU has witnessed the creation of 33 bioscience companies. This is a higher rate of business creation that the university has ever witnessed in the past.

Also In 2007, OHSU disclosed 132 inventions, up from just 32 in 2000; these are the basis of licenses and company spin-offs.

Jerry has incorrectly identified $300 million private donations as taxpayer dollars. This is not the case.

Also, it is important to note that the Oregon Opportunity had many goals, only one of which was bioscience creation. Other goals included:
- The recruitment of 80 to 100 researchers to OHSU – this was competed
- The creation of a research critical mass to make OHSU and Oregon larger targets for research grants and center grants. This achievement of a critical mass resulted in the naming of OHSU as one of the first twelve universities in the country to receive a translational research center grant – these are key grants for future research and development and only certain institutions will receive them.
- The creation of a world-class research facility (the Biomedical Research Building)
- An increase in NIH funding, which occurred at OHSU despite the fact that the NIH budget has flatlined

In real dollars: In 2007, OHSU earned $307 million in annual research awards, up from $221 million in 2002. Each new research grant is like recruiting a small business to Oregon.

Of course all of these accomplishments have resulted in millions of dollars of investment in Oregon and research that benefits Oregonians.

As for Florida’s investment, a few key points to make:
- OHSU was invited by Florida to apply for these dollars
- The facility will not take any resources away from Oregon and no Oregon tax dollars will flow into Florida.
- The new research center will connect Oregon researchers with some of the most highly regarded institutions in the world, which will expand OHSU research and likely provide new opportunities for Oregonians to take part in cutting edge clinical studies available in few other places.

Given the investments made thus far (thanks to Jim for the all-in summary), it would be short sighted to get all fiscal conservativish now.

We must match the Florida offer if we hope to retain OHSU's best and brightest.

Don't let Florida win this hand: it's just too cheap! Call their bluff, and MATCH THE OFFER!

In for penny, in for Billion. That's what I always say.

Well Jim,
Can you please thank Neil Goldschmidt, Peter Kohler and Vera Katz?

1) OHSU was never going to move to Hillsboro. That was a lie.
2) OHSU did start the VGTI in 2001. It was successful, grew and OHSU let it run out of space.
3) OHSU should have expanded research where it was needed, in Hillsboro, for VGTI, the Primate Center and the Oregon Graduate Institute. .
4) The VGTI was formed in close association with the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro.
5) Florida has been using 100s of millions to recruit some of the leading biotech players in the world, including the Scripps Research Institute, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Burnham Institute, Max Planck Society and Mann Research Center.
6) OHSU should have accommodated VGTI and growth on their West Campus, but instead has been wasting 100s of millions on Trams, doctors offices, their health club, a clinic and another building on Pill Hill which they are $60 million short of equiping and and staffing.
7) OHSU's Kohler and CoP Katz claimed the Tram and SoWa expansion would trigger a large increase in biotech research and 1000s of new jobs. That was a lie.
8) OHSU hired a bitoech Czar who told Katz and Kohler they were having delusions of grandeur.
9) OHSU has chewed through 100s of millions in public money over the past 5 years.
10) OHSU announced recently that they are in financial trouble and, among other cuts, will be "reducing internal funding on research".
11) At the same time the PDC is channeling millions for in SoWa/TIF money to OHSU to spur Bio-science business and jobs.
12) OHSU acquired the Oregon Graduate Institute, also in 2001, and also located in Hillsboro at the OHSU West. cmapus has recently sold the campus, will be Q: What will be the impacts of the OGI
campus sale on the rest of OHSU’s West Campus?

13) OHSU sold the OGI campus in Jan. of 07. OGI consists of 286,000 square feet of office and lab space located in 15 buildings on a 40 acre site. OHSU sold the property for $44,400,000 to Wakefield Capital, LLC. OHSU will then lease back the property from Wakefield Capital for a minimum of seven years plus two, three-year options to extend the lease for up to 13 years.
14) OHSU plans to move the OGI to the yet to be built Schnitzer Campus in SoWa.
15) OHSU's recent plan to stabilize revenue includes no spending on the new campus. Robertson said the university will start construction on that campus only when it has the financial means.

16) Back when OGI was sold, “This brings us another step closer to fully realizing the potential of merging a school of science and engineering with an academic health center,” said OHSU President Joseph E. Robertson.
17) OHSU-Q& A "Although OGI is an important part of OHSU's West Campus, other units there-including the VGTI, the Neurological Sciences Institute, and the Oregon National Primate Research Center-will continue to expand their research. In FY 2005, West Campus units accounted for nearly 25 percent of OHSU's total research grants."
18) VGTI is now expanding in Florida.
19)The university is required to start construction on a $70 million parking garage on the South Waterfront by 2010.
20) The Tram, costing OHSU $40 million, was touted as the means to shuttle doctors, researchers and patients from the new SoWa expansion to facilities on the hill. There is no research expansion, OHSU is cutting back on internal research funding and the Tram is now a transit link to a medical center which OHSU patients are told not to use.
21) OHSU and the city will have wasted far more than the $118 million Florida is using on genuine incentives and biotech expansion. .
22) This week the PDC's new 5 year budget for SoWa included millions more for bioscience and jobs creation. More cash payments without regard to no bioscience or jobs created.
23) OHSU used state money to underwrite recruitment of many of the principal scientists at the VGTI that will now "expand" by moving to Florida.
24) OHSU, having wasted 100s of millions, can't afford the kind of expansion subsidies that Florida is providing VGTI.
25) OHSU says "VGTI being recruited to Florida will spur more growth in Oregon". More delusion?
26)VGTI has grown from $650,000 in annual grant support to more than $10.4 million in 2007.
Clearly this is one of OHSU's most successful stories, happening at the same time the Tram/SoWa adventure was sealing it's fate.
27) The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute was formed in close association with the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro and conducts some of its studies with nonhuman primates, a resource that won't immediately be available in Florida.
28) What's Next, the Primate Center moves?
29) Dan Dorsa, vice president of research at OHSU, said VGTI had run out of space on OHSU's West Campus.
30) OHSU already spent their expansion money on Pill Hill and at SoWa.
31)The city of Port St. Lucie has committed to providing $53 million of improvements in a 120-acre research park that will house Torrey Pines and VGTI. Pretty much exactly what OHSU should have done out in Hillsboro. And recruited Torry Pines as well.
32) OHSU doesn't know if VGTI will be moving the whole outfit to Florida.
33) OHSU's new financial plan calls for $76 million in cost reductions and substantially increasing its debt. It plans to borrow $400 million to cover capital investments totaling $1 billion.

Jim, could you give a present update on the total dollars OHSU has received from the Agreement that OHSU receives 1/2 of every federally lobbied dollars that are earmarked for SoWhat. I've seen some old numbers approaching $8M. Also, do you know when this benefit to OHSU expires, and do you know if this kind of arrangement has ever been provided by PDC or any other Oregon government body where federal lobbied tax dollars for projects are 1/2 given to an entity?

They've been getting all sorts of payments.
Why not a list of all monies paid to OHSU?
What it was for, how it was spent and what the public got for it.

Sure can't get any of that from the PDC

As Henry Clay Frick (of U.S. Steel) once said (of Teddy Roosevelt):

We bought the son-of-a-bitch, but he didn't stay bought.

Hey Sammy Boy: did you know that OHSU was seeing Florida behind your back?

Sam the Tram didn't protect the linchpin, things are running amuck.


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