SOURCE: SRI International

December 04, 2007 14:50 ET

SRI International and Public Officials Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony for New R&D Facility in Rockingham County, Virginia, on December 4

HARRISONBURG, VA--(Marketwire - December 4, 2007) - Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine and officials from Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg will join SRI International executives for a groundbreaking ceremony from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. today at the site of the new Rockingham Center for Research and Technology. A new research and development building at the Rockingham Center will house SRI Shenandoah Valley and its Center for Advanced Drug Research, which currently occupies offices on the nearby James Madison University (JMU) campus.

The groundbreaking comes less than one year after SRI announced its decision to expand its operations in Virginia by locating a new facility in Rockingham County. The facility, which will be constructed by Nielsen Builders, Inc., is expected to be complete by the end of 2009. When complete, the 40,000-square-foot building will include a mix of office and laboratory space. It will be located on a 25-acre site, and an additional 20 acres of land have been reserved for 10 years for potential expansion.

SRI's facility is being built in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, JMU, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

SRI Shenandoah Valley is creating specialized research jobs and could anchor a burgeoning life sciences industry in Shenandoah Valley. SRI Shenandoah Valley will combine SRI's established expertise in drug discovery, computational biology, and preclinical development with a newly formed proteomics laboratory, called the Center for Advanced Drug Research, or CADRE for short. SRI scientists will conduct a diverse set of research projects, including productivity improvement for the pharmaceutical industry, countermeasures for emerging bio-threats, discovery of new life-saving drugs, and treatments for neglected infectious diseases that affect a significant portion of the world's population. CADRE will research new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

In addition to critical life-saving research, SRI Shenandoah Valley will bring SRI's education policy research to the region. A new local workforce training initiative, the Shenandoah Valley Transitions Project, has been launched with JMU to inventory the region's education and training systems. New workforce development collaborations among local business, community and government organizations will help the region adapt as the market changes in response to research-based and high-technology economic development.

"We are very excited to see construction of our new facility begin," said SRI Vice President Walter H. Moos, Ph.D. "SRI Shenandoah Valley and the Center for Advanced Drug Research would not be possible without the shared vision and support of our state and local partners. We look forward to building together -- in every sense of the word -- an important new asset for the region, the state, the nation, and the world."

"The establishment of SRI Shenandoah Valley and its Center for Advanced Drug Research is a great and transformational step that will help bring the Commonwealth of Virginia to the forefront of biosciences research," said Governor Kaine. "Increased funding in this sector is a priority and our commitment to SRI corroborates our long-term biosciences strategy."

"Rockingham County has a longstanding commitment to creating a diverse local economy that provides new job opportunities and helps to sustain economic development throughout the region," said Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Chairman William B. Kyger, Jr. "With that commitment in mind, support of SRI Shenandoah Valley is a major strategic initiative that will help sustain a strong local economy. Located in the Rockingham Center for Research and Technology, SRI's presence is a unique opportunity and a tremendous step forward for the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Metropolitan Area."

"It is exciting to see the progress that SRI is making toward a permanent presence in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham metro area," said Harrisonburg Mayor Rodney Eagle. "This opens doors for our residents, as well as our University graduates to remain in our beautiful and vibrant community."

"This is a strong partnership that has already increased opportunities for JMU faculty and students," said James Madison University President Dr. Linwood H. Rose. "We look forward to increased grant opportunities that will help JMU and other Virginia universities in similar ways."

About SRI International

Silicon Valley-based SRI International ( is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. Founded as Stanford Research Institute in 1946, SRI has been meeting the strategic needs of clients for more than 60 years. The nonprofit research institute performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, and private foundations. In addition to conducting contract R&D, SRI licenses its technologies, forms strategic partnerships, and creates spin-off companies.

Note to editors: Media interested in attending the ceremony should contact CRT/tanaka's Christian Munson at (804) 675-8151. While Governor Kaine's schedule will not permit post-ceremony interviews, SRI executives and local officials will be available.

Contact Information