Regeneron made two major announcements at a press conference on December 12th. The first was a collaboration with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in opening the new Regeneron DNA Learning Center on the company’s Sleepy Hollow campus. The other was becoming the official title sponsor of the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science and engineering competition.
“We try to put our money where our mouths are in terms of the future of science,” said Regeneron co-founder, president and CEO Leonard Schleifer to the crowd gathered together at the event. The company’s co-founder, president and chief scientific officer George Yancopoulos spoke at length about the goals the company hopes to achieve by investing more than $4 million dollars into the state-of-the-art, 4,700-square-foot center, where middle and high school students will come for field trips, summer camps, and research projects to learn about molecular science and genetics. Yancopoulos remarked, “I fully believe that the most important thing for us as humans is to ensure our collective future. We are all one species, we’re all one collective being, and our goal should be to do whatever we can to make sure humanity continues and thrives.”
Bruce Stillman, the president and CEO of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and David Micklos, the founder and director of the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, also addressed the attendees and spoke of the importance of the partnership in developing future generations of scientists.
With that same goal of encouraging young scientists in mind, Yancopoulos also announced Regeneron dedicating $24 million over five years to be the sponsor of ISEF, the prestigious science contest dating back to 1950 that has been sponsored by Intel in recent years. ISEF provides a global stage for science students–over 175,000 student participate in science fairs each year–to share their STEM research and compete for nearly $5 million in awards, prizes, and scholarships.
“It is truly wonderful to see a local business–a very large, sophisticated business–that is willing to step up and share its incredible expertise with our local students and local school system,” Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray said to the River Journal at the press conference. “It’s an opportunity that so many other people will not have, and it’s so great that they are willing to do this for us.”