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BRF seeks more public funding

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

The Biomedical Research Foundation is returning to it's roots.


Recently, the non-profit group has come under fire for losing sight of it's original mission by assuming management of University Health.
 
Leaders deny that report saying their mission hasn't changed but expanded.
 
The BRF is asking the Caddo Commission for more money to complete it's mission.

Twenty-seven years ago the group was created as a tool to diversify the local economy after the oil crash of the 1980's. 

Over the years, the BRF acquired the Intertech. It's a business park with 23 tenants.
 
This includes a list of big names like Moonbot Studios, Blade Studios and Red River Pharma. 

"It's been transformed. They were run down facilities that had environmental issues. We've cleaned up all those pieces of property with federal funds and leveraged money without a dime coming out of this community," said BRF CEO Dr. John George.

The BRF is also well-known for investing early in pet imaging to track diseases like cancer.
 
Leaders announced earlier this year they will sink $1.5 million from the state into new equipment and a high profile team for PET imaging. 

The goal is to build a new center to house these investments.

"Our plan is to make our resources accessible to our colleagues in other institutes, like neighboring schools. Our interest to collaborate goes beyond that though. We want to reach out to New Orleans, Baton Rouge and other states," said Dr. Pradeep Garg with the PET imaging team.

Now leaders of the BRF are looking to start a new program aimed at growing and keeping entrepreneurs in north Louisiana.

They're asking parish commissioners to chip in $500,000 a year to the program for five years and the Shreveport city council to lay down $250,000 this year.
 
That's on top of the $3 million the foundation got in public financing combined from the state and an annual parish tax.
 
George said the money won't and hasn't gone to waste.

"Shreveport started because Captain Shreve was trying to make some money. He started it and we've got to continue it," said George.

Caddo commissioners will decide on the BRF's funding request on Jan. 23.

The Shreveport City council already voted in favor of funding the Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program on Dec. 10.
 
You can find out more about the Biomedical Research Foundation by clicking this link

 

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