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Biotech Center grant to build Marine program

The N.C. Biotechnology Center has given a grant worth as much as $2.5 million for a new center designed to foster commercial development and jobs based on the state's ocean life.

The four-year grant will help get the Marine Biotechnology Center of Innovation off the ground. The money will be based on organizers meeting various milestones. The goal will be to have the center find other sources of funding within four years to become self-sustaining.

One of the first tasks will be to find a CEO to run the center. That executive will choose where to open the center, and begin hiring a small staff, said Biotech Center spokesman Jim Shamp.

The grant comes as the General Assembly recently cut the Biotech Center's state funding by 10 percent. The center, based in Research Triangle Park, is a nonprofit that depends on the state for the bulk of its annual budget.

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