Philanthropist pledges $100 mil to bioscience

March 1, 2006

By hammersmith

Jerry Bisgrove, chairman of the Stardust Charitable Group, has pledged $100 million to Arizona’s bioscience industry, to be used as the private match required by a bill pending at the Legislature to contribute $150 million to the biosciences over the next five years.

Bisgrove’s contribution would be distributed over four years at $25 million per year to Science Foundation Arizona, a newly established nonprofit organization. The goal of the funds is to boost the bioscience industry and there are no specific requirements as to how it will be spent.

It is the largest single private donation to the biosciences, and it follows a $50 million investment in the biosciences by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

Stardust Companies Real Estate Group, one of the state’s largest land bankers and residential-lot developers, funds Bisgrove’s charitable group.

“I’m only a steward. I don’t view this as my money. It was given to me, and by God, I’m going to do something with it,” Bisgrove told the Arizona Republic.

A bill to create the Arizona Twenty-First Century Fund (HB 2477) was unanimously approved last week by the House Appropriations Committee. It would appropriate $50 million this year to the biosciences and $100 million over the next four years.

“Stardust is coming in and matching the state’s money, not the other way around,” Bisgrove told the Republic.

For more information:

$100 mil science donation pledged,” Arizona Republic, 02/26/2006

Science Foundation is born,” Arizona Republic (Don Budinger op-ed), 02/26/2006

Big chips are falling into place for Arizona,” Arizona Republic, 02/26/2006

Gift boosts Ariz. As biosciences mecca,” Arizona Daily Star, 02/26/2006

Biotech to see big boost,” East Valley Tribune, 02/26/2006