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July 6th, 2007
Like venture capitalists, state lawmakers have an opportunity to fund research and development that could lead to world-changing breakthroughs - such as creating fuels out of switch grasses or sharply reducing the cost of making solar panels or finding ways to prevent carbon from escaping into the atmosphere.
Under the governor's proposal, $70 million in bond funding would pay for half the cost of a building at the University of California-Berkeley that would house biofuels research as well as the Helios Project led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to develop carbon-neutral energy. The Legislature has tentatively given the nod to this. An additional $20 million would go to research projects at various UC campuses in infotech, biotech and nanotech. And $5 million would go toward UC's bid to develop the next generation of supercomputers.
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