November 16, 2009

Gordon Hickey
(804) 225-4260

Liza Morris
The Ignite Institute
Christie Miller
(804) 545-5805
-The Ignite Institute will create 415 jobs-

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced the creation of The Ignite Institute, a nonprofit medical research institute established by Inova Health System and Dr. Dietrich Stephan, a recognized leader in the field of molecular medicine. The Institute is the first entity built around the application of personalized medicine innovation in the community health setting. The project’s $200 million investment in Fairfax County will create 415 jobs.

“The Ignite Institute adds to Virginia’s position as a world-class center of excellence for research and development,” Governor Kaine said. “The advanced medical technologies that will be developed at Ignite will be part of the key drivers in our mission to reform and improve America’s healthcare system.”

Ignite’s mission is to use the most sophisticated molecular scanning technologies to fully understand the bases of human illnesses, especially cancer and other chronic diseases, so that effective new diagnostics and therapeutics can be developed rapidly. The Institute will leverage and integrate Virginia's substantial assets in the field of life sciences.

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) will initially house Ignite and build a portion of its facilities as wet lab space. Once the Institute establishes a permanent location in Fairfax County, this publicly controlled wet lab space at CIT will become available for the incubation of future companies based in science and research in the region.

The Ignite Institute will fully integrate biomedical research, development, commercialization and clinical care. The Institute is specifically focused on creating and applying the latest biomedical and technological innovations to enable truly individualized health care. The Institute aims to elevate the quality health care and to transform health care delivery into a highly efficient, effective and affordable endeavor.

“Virginia is a state where personalized medicine can fully take root and flourish,” said Dr. Stephan, CEO and President, The Ignite Institute. “The highly educated work force, national IT leadership, excellence in health care and proximity to Washington D.C. make this the ideal place to launch the Institute.”

Inova Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.

"The Ignite Institute promises to be one of the most exciting innovations in the development of personalized medicine," said Knox Singleton, President and CEO of Inova Health System. "Inova's partnership with Ignite will accelerate the transfer of leading edge research to citizens at-large through a world-class community health system."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to prepare the state’s proposal to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Kaine approved a $3 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Fairfax County with the project. Ignite Institute will be eligible to receive an incentive grant totaling $22 million, subject to General Assembly approval, in increments of $5.5 million per year to be paid out to the Institute over a four-year period. The performance grant is tied to job creation, commitments of additional outside capital, and research collaborations of significant value with Virginia universities.

"We are proud to host the Ignite Institute and excited that the cutting-edge medical research that Ignite conducts will come from Fairfax County," said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. "Ignite will be able to take advantage of our highly skilled workforce, and the Institute's work will further diversify and strengthen the county's economy."


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