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Posted 08.16.07


Failed NBAF Bid 'Highly Rated,' Officials Say

Weaknesses included Lack of in-Kind Support and Growing Community Resistance

COLUMBIA, MO - During a debriefing with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, University of Missouri-Columbia officials were given additional information about the application to place the National Bio- and Agro-Defense facility in Columbia.

DHS used a scale to evaluate four categories in each proposal. The four categories were research quality, workforce quality and availability, land acquisitions and construction operations, and community acceptance. The scale was split into four ratings: excellent, very good, good and marginal. MU's proposal had "excellent" and "very good" scores in all four categories.

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"We had a very highly rated proposal and our overall score was on the boundary of the very good and excellent ratings," said Jim Coleman, vice chancellor for research. "I was really heartened that DHS noted that our research collaborations and our plans for communications with the community were really outstanding. Particularly, they highlighted something that we care deeply about, which is the excellent collaboration between our College of Veterinary Medicine and our School of Medicine. We also were pleased that they thought there was great potential in the statewide collaborations between MU and our partners, such as Washington University and the animal health industry in Kansas City."

Although DHS praised the high quality of scientific and technical workforce available, they were concerned that there was not a concentrated scientific and technical workforce in Columbia, but rather distributed across the state among St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia, Coleman said. In addition, DHS noted a growing community resistance to the project and a lack of in-kind contributions, monetary and material contributions from the community, state and the University.



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