California Stem Cell Agency’s $150,000 Search for Its Financial Future

By Dr. Matthew Watson

A San Francisco consultant, who is
often known as an “economic therapist,” has been selected to
devise a “strategic road map” for the financial future of the $3
billion California stem cell agency.
James Gollub: 'economic therapist'
Gollub Associates photo
James Gollub, managing director of the
firm bearing his name, is under a $150,000 contract to lay out by
this fall a detailed plan for the agency. The nine-year-old research
effort is scheduled to run out of money for new awards in 2017.
Gollub was selected after the agency
posted a request for proposals (RFP) last spring. The RFP assumed an
additional $50 million to $200 million in a onetime “public
investment.” The RFP also assumed additional private funding of a
yet-to-be-determined nature.

“A leading expert in innovation
bridge building....
“Global experience assisting
universities, institutes, government agencies and public-private
partnerships link innovation sources to innovation
“Committed to the goal of increasing flow of needed
solutions, optimizing financial returns and sustainable economic
impacts from innovation.”

Gollub's current firm dates back to
March of this year. His Linked In profile says,

James Gollub Associates
(JGA) LLC was launched to build on 36 years of Gollub’s
professional research and consulting experience. That experience
began with 16 years at SRI International, three years at
DRI/McGraw-Hill, five years at IDeA, nine years at ICF International
and three years with E-Cubed Ventures LLC. During that
time Gollub has worked globally to deliver
economic strategies for over 30 national, state and metropolitan
regions, develop strategies to accelerate growth of new industries
(clusters), plan public and private R&D institutes and advise on
over 15 science and technology parks.”

The need for a financial transition plan for CIRM was publicly identified as long ago as 2009 by the Little Hoover Commission in its lengthy study and has been reiterated periodically by other bodies since then. Under the terms of Prop. 71, which created the agency, CIRM has only  a 10-year authority to issue state bonds, the borrowed funds that have sustained the research effort. Legal maneuvering blocked the issuance of bonds until 2007.

The California Stem Cell Report asked
the stem cell agency on May 31 for a copy of Gollub's response to the
RFP. Yesterday we asked for a copy of the contract with Gollub. Those
documents will be published when they are received.

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