Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is San Antonio on the short list for Medtronics diabetes research?

I ran into Nelson Wolff, the Bexar County judge, at breakfast this morning. In the course of our conversation, he said that San Antonio is on the short list for a possible Medtronics research facility. Hizhonor said that Medtronics is looking to relocate to San Antonio for a diabetes research plant because of the growth of UTSA, my alma matter. When you add the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio is a good choice for this facility.

However, also on the short list is Lawrence, KS., with its growing base of medical research. Frankly, the weather in San Antonio is a lot better than the middle of Kansas.   Yet,

In our short conversation today, Judge Wolff was not aware of the growing base of medical research and emerging medical technology. Few San Antonio residents know the level of sophistication of medical research in our city. A few of the San Antonio Innotech participants got a glimpse of our city's overall medical development capability during the "From Cocktail Napkin to Worldwide Commercialization - How South Texas Companies are Innovating within the Emerging Medical Technology Sector" chaired by Gabi Niederauer.

The sad thing about San Antonio is that if you took a random poll of 1000 people in San Antonio, a mere two or three people might now something about the city's growth of medical research from nanotechnology to surgical devices. Like a lot of city politicians, Judge Wolff doesn't know much about the growing base of medical related businesses.  But, we can't blame him either.  The medical research and technology community is not doing an excellent job of promoting awareness among people like Wolff or the rank and file.

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