Once a shuttered tire plant, BRIC facility now home to 21st-century research
Hundreds of Waco residents visited Baylor’s new research park during an evening open house last week. A large portion of the crowd was no doubt there to see how an old tire plant — one that once provided hundreds of jobs for Wacoans, but had been shuttered for more than 25 years — could have ever been converted into a state-of-the-art research facility that promises to once again provide a boost to the city’s economy.
Today, the 330,000-square-foot BRIC, located about 2 miles north of campus just off I-35, is home to research and industry labs such as Baylor’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research and a quantum optics laboratory. L-3 Platform Integration recently became BRIC’s first resident partner, having signed an agreement to lease space at the facility and staff that space with engineers who are already working directly with Baylor professors.
BRIC officially opened its doors in January as the first facility of the Central Texas Technology and Research Park. Baylor is one of many partners in the project, along with the cities of Waco and Bellmead, the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, the Cooper Foundation, McLennan Country, Texas State Technical College and the Waco Foundation. Public support has been high because studies show that for every job in a research park, another 2.57 jobs are created — typically jobs in emerging high-technology fields that ultimately enhance economic development of the local area and surrounding region.
Sic ’em, BRIC!
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* Partnership between business school, provost’s office will help BRIC discoveries reach market faster (Oct. 2012)
* Baylor We Are: Discovering New Truths (April 2012)
* BRIC named a finalist for Global Innovator’s Award (Sept. 2011)