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Experts say new FUJIFILM vaccine manufacturing to have great impact on local economy

The facility plans to mass manufacture a potential COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 11:07 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Local economic experts say Monday’s announcement about the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies Center mass-producing a potential COVID-19 vaccine could have a major impact on our local economy.

The Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation CEO Matt Prochaska says it’s work like this that continues to put the Brazos Valley on the map.

“When you think about it, it means more jobs. It is higher-paying jobs. It’s tech jobs, and at the same time, working to solve one of the biggest crises in our world today,” said Prochaska.

In 2019, the BVEDC calculated an increase of 506 new jobs and $64.2 million in new capital expenditures locally.

With that increase in jobs comes an increase in people. Prochaska says that means our local restaurants, bars, and stores would start seeing an increase in revenue.

“Those employees are going to need a place to live. They are going to want to go out and treat their family to dinner. They are going to need all of the things that drive our local economy,” said Prochaska.

The U.S. government is paying $265 million to the Texas A&M University System and its subcontractor, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, to help mass-produce a vaccine from the company Novavax.

For years, work has been ongoing in the Biocorridor to bring projects like this to the Brazos Valley.

Porchaska says being in the middle of the state’s largest cities is what attracts companies here.

“It means future growth for us. It means opportunity, and hopefully more growth, when other companies see what we have here, that they will want to come and join us,” said Porchaska.

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