FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 03, 2006



Christie Collins
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
VEDP Receives National Recognition for Philip Morris Project
-Research and Technology Center project wins top economic development award-


RICHMOND - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership received the Gold Award from Business Facilities magazine for the Philip Morris USA Research and Technology Center project. The project won the top honor in the “Biggest Deals $150-$500 Million” category.

Philip Morris USA announced in April 2005 its plans to invest about $300 million to build a Research and Technology Center in Richmond’s Virginia Biotechnology Research Park. The project will create 500 new jobs, including scientists, lab technicians and lab support positions. The center, slated for completion in 2007, will allow Philip Morris to develop new technologies toward improving products it currently manufactures, and may lead to new product innovation.

"This project is a testament to the productive teamwork of government, business and higher education that has happened time and time again in Virginia, and especially here in Richmond," said Virginia Commonwealth University President Eugene P. Trani. "It's the collaboration of the best we each have to offer for the benefit of the entire region and state."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond, The Greater Richmond Partnership, Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Virginia Commonwealth University and Congressman Eric Cantor to prepare the state’s proposal and negotiate an incentive package that closed the deal. The incentive package included a $3 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, a $12 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, as well as training assistance from the Virginia Department of Business Assistance’s Workforce Services Program.

“Economic development is a team sport,” said Jeff Anderson, VEDP Executive Director. “A project of this magnitude involves a lot of time and hard work. The collaboration during the negotiations for the Philip Morris project is what led to our success, and we are fortunate to have top talent working to bring great companies, jobs and investment to Virginia.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Partnership is a state authority, which is governed by a 21-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.

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