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Carolina Universities Form Consortium for Smoky Mountain Science

NEW YORK, Sept. 12-Unlike the high-tech towns of Durham, Raleighand Chapel Hill, the western part of North Carolinais better known for rural charm than for R&D.


Hoping to change that, the leaders of three western Carolinauniversities announced a new academic biotechnology consortium last week. Their aim: to bring some of the economic and scientific successes of the "research triangle" corridor to the Appalachian hills.


The partnership was announced by the heads of the Universityof North Carolinaat Asheville, WesternCarolinaUniversityand South Carolina's FurmanUniversityat a ceremony on Sept. 4.


The Western Carolinas Biotechnology Consortium will promote undergraduate and graduate training in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics, and encourage university researchers to spin off new biotech companies in the region.


At the ceremony, U.S. Representative Charles Taylor said he would ask for $13 million in federal funds to support this research partnership.