Gov. Perry, Local Leaders Pledge Support for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
Gov. Rick Perry today joined local and community leaders in a unified effort to recruit the federal Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) to San Antonio.
"As a state with an innovative business culture and robust biotechnology industry, Texas is uniquely suited to host this facility," Gov. Perry said. "San Antonio provides unique advantages, including its skilled workforce, scientific community and transportation infrastructure that will provide the facility the resources it needs to fulfill its vital role in our national defense."
NBAF will establish a next-generation biological and agricultural defense facility to replace the aging animal disease research facility at Plum Island, New York, and fill a gap in the nation's bio and agro-defense plan. The facility will research high-risk biological threats, and help protect the nation's agriculture infrastructure and food supply against bioterrorism.
Should Texas land the project, it would raise the reputation of the state - and San Antonio in particular - as a major scientific research center. Over a 10-year period, the NBAF facility would attract an estimated 2,000 new direct and indirect jobs to the San Antonio area.
Texas has committed more than $100 million to the effort, including $56 million that the governor, speaker and lieutenant governor have pledged to secure through the legislative appropriations process in the upcoming session. State and local leaders have committed funding for this important project from various sources, including the Texas Enterprise Fund, Texas Emerging Technology Fund, Texas Workforce Commission, City of San Antonio, Bexar County, San Antonio City Public Service, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and AT&T.
From medical advances to cyber security innovations, Texas, and San Antonio in particular, are investing and attracting new high technology companies by combining early stage capital with skilled management and cutting edge technology. San Antonio is an essential part of the state's economic vitality. Its large, reliable workforce and its emergence as a leader in the bio sciences make the city a strong and competitive economic asset to the state.
Texas is competing with Mississippi, Kansas, Georgia and North Carolina to host the NBAF site. DHS is expected to make its decision by the end of 2008.