AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin’s booming biotech industry will get a boost from a new state-funded lab at Austin Community College’s Highland Campus. A $4.9 million award from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund will pay for a new highly-specialized biotechnology research lab known as a “wet lab.”
Companies developing products such as pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices will be able to lease space in the 8,400-square-foot lab. Students in ACC’s Biotechnology Program will also have the opportunity to secure internships and work with professional researchers in the lab.
State leaders say this addition should address a critical shortage of research space in the region.
“Right now, many biotech start-ups are forced to turn elsewhere because Austin doesn’t have the facilities they need,” says Tom Kowalski, Texas Healthcare & Bioscience Institute president. “Research has shown that if we meet those needs, we can bring more than 1,000 new jobs to the area and make an economic impact of up to $110 million a year.”
ACC is working in partnership with the Texas Life-Sciences Collaboration Center, the Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas, and the city of Georgetown.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our students and our community partners,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “ACC has a long history of providing Central Texas industries the workforce and tools they need to prosper. This lab will take that commitment to a new level.”