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R.I. Gov. Leads Research Trip To Baltimore

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee led a delegation of state leaders and others to Baltimore on Friday to gather ideas for creating a life sciences hub in Providence.

Chafee, an independent, said Baltimore’s creation of a bioscience zone can serve as a model for plans to redevelop land opened up by the relocation of Interstate 195.

Chafee was joined by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, House Speaker Gordon Fox, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and leaders from higher education and business. The group flew to Baltimore on Friday morning and planned to return Friday night.

The delegation visited the University of Maryland Medical Center and BioPark, a bioscience innovation and research center.

Chafee made a similar trip to Houston’s Texas Medical Center in February, but he says Baltimore may be a better model for Providence.

“There are a lot of similarities between what’s happening here in Baltimore and the potential in Providence,” he said. “They have their harbor district. It’s an aging city transforming itself from an old economy to a new economy. There’s a lot we can learn.”

Taveras said he was struck by how academia, government and private industry worked together in Baltimore to create a thriving center of research and investment.

“For us to be successful that’s exactly what we’re going to have to do,” Taveras told The Associated Press. The trip “showcases how the city, state, universities and private enterprise worked together to make this happen.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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