11 Jun Despite odds, cities race to bet on biotech
Where a textile mill once drove the economy of this blue-collar town northeast of Charlotte, an imposing neoclassical complex is rising, filled with fine art, Italian marble and multimillion-dollar laboratory equipment. Three buildings, one topped by a giant dome, form the beginnings of what has been nicknamed the Biopolis, a research campus dedicated to biotechnology.
At $500 million and counting, the Biopolis, officially called the North Carolina Research Campus, is a product of a national race to attract the biotechnology industry, a current grail of economic development.
Cities like Shreveport, La., and Huntsville, Ala., are also gambling millions in taxpayer dollars on if-we-build-it-they-will-come research parks and wet laboratories, which hold the promise of low-pollution workplaces and high salaries.
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