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Baylor wants Central Texas to be the next Silicon Valley

By Noel Brennan

WACO - Imagine Central Texas as a new Silicon Valley. The Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative is hoping to foster the same kind of innovation.

Construction is still underway on "Phase 1" of the $32 million facility located at 600 General Parkway in Waco.

The BRIC is a partnership between Baylor, Texas State Technical College, Waco and Bellmead among other entities.

The state-of-the-art 300,000 square ft. facility will bring together research, industry and workforce development all under one roof.

The construction site used to be home to General Tire, a company that shut its doors in 1985. The building and the surrounding 21 acres were donated to Baylor for use in this project.

The University hopes the BRIC will create as many as 300 new jobs and attract some big name tech companies to Central Texas.

"We'll be able to basically offer them anything from the line worker all the way through the Ph.D. in the lab," said Dr. Truell Hyde, vice provost for research at Baylor.

They already have one Ph.D. ready to move in. Renowned physicist, Dr. Marlan O. Scully is relocating his lab from Princeton.

Scully is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He will have a 5,000 square ft. lab in the BRIC.

"This is something that's going to be unique," said Scully, "and it's really exciting to see it happening here in Texas."

Just as Stanford transformed Silicon Valley in California, Scully hopes Baylor and TSTC will do the same for the greater Waco area.

"Baylor is bringing yet another dimension to the research and innovation, and this will be great for Texas and great for the USA," Scully added.

Baylor students will benefit from the new facility as well. Nearly half of the space will be reserved for labs and research areas for graduate students. 

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