ACC is one of six community colleges to share a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop biotechnology curricula, supporting an up-and-coming segment of the region’s economy. Almost 20 years later, the Bioscience Incubator at Highland Campus opens to provide specialized research space for the industry and invaluable learning opportunities for students.

Steven Spurlock, an ACC student, welcomed the new emphasis on providing job training in addition to academic courses. “We’re going to be trained by industry reps, and they’re going to teach us exactly what we need to know.” After graduating, he plans to transfer to the University of Texas or one of California’s universities. This emphasis on biotech is new and comes just four years after the City of Austin’s Chamber of Commerce gave up on a plan to attract biotech companies to the area. A big handicap for Austin in attracting biotech companies was the absence of a medical school. Most biotech companies were located near university centers like San Francisco in the North or Boston and California’s San Diego and Bay areas.

Source: Austin American Statesman, October 16, 1998.