He also described a consortium of 12 U.S. universities (from the Big-12 athletics conference), including Texas, that have formed a virtual Center for Economic Development, Innovation, and Commercialization. The objective is to jointly create tech transfer, research, and share equipment and other resources. “It’s the paradigm of the future,” he said, “having universities collaborate.” The initial pattern for the Center was an athletic conference whose schools would “compete on the football field on Saturday, but collaborate the other six days of the week. The model is designed to break down barriers, structurally change relationships, and enhance communications.
The Emerging Technology Fund with its small size and flexibility has proved to be an effective vehicle for commercialization. While the governor, lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the House approve the work of the 17-member advisory committee that evaluates potential candidates, there are no fund managers and only a small staff within the governor’s office to run the program. Each participating region operates a Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization (RCIC).
The ETF has three sections. $100 million goes to Commercialization Investments, for which the ETF has already reviewed more than 331 applications. Of these, 22 projects at 7 RCICs received $27.5 million.
The second activity is the $50 million Research Matching Grants, intended for industry consortia or single companies who already have some funding from the federal government or other sources. Of 53 requests, 14 projects were approved for $22 million in funding.
Third are the Research Superiority Grants, a fund of $50 million to “discover the best researchers we can find in the country or the world and bring them to Texas.” This fund has brought researchers to Texas Tech University, the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and other laboratories.
Mr. Powers concluded with the news that Governor Perry would announce the following week that $10 million of the Research Superiority Fund would go to outstanding researchers in nanotechnology. He then introduced Dr. Goodall, with whom he works on the Texas Technology Initiative.
Randal K. Goodall
TxAN, said Dr. Goodall, is the Texas Alliance for Nanoelectronics, which is currently being assembled as an alliance with the federal government, beginning