Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Promoters Boosting San Antonio as Bio-Tech Boomtown

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Promoters Boosting San Antonio as Bio-Tech Boomtown

Article excerpt

SAN ANTONIO - Promoters boosting San Antonio as the bio-tech boomtown of the next century are preparing to invade corporate America in th e fall.

Within 90 days, the Texas Research Technology Foundation in San Antonio is expected to reach agreement on a land package for a 1,500-acre Texas Research Park, which will be the hub of the hoped-forresearch and development cluster.

The foundation is considering land package offers from three groups - each offering combinations of free and discount acreage.

When the paperwork is signed, the promoters begin a full year of selling.

""Twenty years from now, you should be looking at a park with 20 or 25 major tenants in it, with as many as 20,000 people working there. Outside the park will be another 50,000 to 100,000 jobs fromthe other activities that will spin off - just like Silicon Valley,'' said the foundation's president, Gerry Cooke.

That is tall talk at a time when just about any city with pretty scenery (a must on the high technology wish lists) is considering courting the nation's dwindling supply of engineers and scientists.

""We're in competition with everybody,'' said Cooke, ""but we're unique.''

The foundation is hoping the numbers and diversity of research centers already in place will override San Antonio's lack of a prominent university that has served to anchor the nation's other high tech meccas in California, Massachusetts and North Carolina.

""We're going to be looking at industries already interested in our research,'' he said.

The foundation is hoping the focus on bio-technology will serve as a complement, rather than direct competition, to the city's high tech neighbor 78 miles away.

Austin attracted national attention when the scenic capital of Texas and home of the endowment-rich University of Texas won the much-publicized fight for the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp.

""Austin's strengths are not so much in bio-science and engineering, just as we are not an electrical engineer center as they are,'' Cooke said. …

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