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Mayo Clinic to greatly expand research facilities in Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic is more than doubling its research space, the first major step in a $6.5 billion plan to increase its Rochester presence.

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ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic is more than doubling its research space, the first major step in a $6.5 billion plan to increase its Rochester presence.

The overall plan, known as Destination Medical Center, would add 30,000 jobs to world-famous Mayo and double Rochester's 100,000 population.

"Just thrilling," Gov. Mark Dayton said about the announcement.

In Rochester for an unrelated event, the governor said that 49 other states and many other countries would have loved to host DMC. He said the project, along with the University of Minnesota Medical School, will attract more medical organizations to Minnesota.

This week's announcement, made at a San Francisco international bioscience conference, is about the creation of Discovery Square, a bioresearch campus that will include physicians, researchers, scientists and business people. Mayo says they will work "in an ultramodern setting for science innovation."

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The facility, to be completed in 20 years, will allow public and private researchers to work together. Mayo research spending was $662 million last year and the DMC project will boost that figure.

The 2 million square foot facility will be in downtown Rochester, already dominated by the clinic.

"At Mayo Clinic, we feel that we have a responsibility to bring forward discoveries that will deliver hope and better health to people around the world," President Dr. John Noseworthy said. "There is no better way to stimulate innovation than through collaboration, which has been part of the Mayo culture for over 150 years."

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, DMC board chairwoman, said Discovery Square "is at the heart of the DMC mission to make Rochester America's city for health." She said that the announcement will encourage more domestic and foreign investment in Rochester.

Construction of the first of several Discovery Square buildings is to begin next year, and Mayo says they should be completed in two years.

Discovery Square is a six-square-block area and is to include not only research facilities, but new businesses and homes.

Destination Medical Center was announced in 2012. It is using a combination of Mayo, business and government funds, including $585 million in state money.

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