The UT Austin Network: Partners Across Texas
The International Collaboratory for Emerging Technologies (CoLab) was launched on March 2, 2007 as a five-year cooperative program between The University of Texas at Austin and the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), including select Portuguese universities, technology parks, and businesses nationwide. IC2 Institute and The University of Texas at Austin highly value this five-year collaboration with the FCT and the government of Portugal.
CoLab’s main academic objective is to enhance globally competitive excellence in research and graduate education through mutually beneficial partnerships in Digital Media, Advanced Computing, and Mathematics. In addition, CoLab’s University Technology Enterprise Network (UTEN) is based at UT Austin in the IC2 (Innovation, Creativity, Capital) Institute.
UTEN provides IC2 Institute and Texas-based partners with exciting and important opportunities to work with leading Portuguese academic, business, and government sectors to help build within Portugal a knowledgeable, globally competitive, and sustainable S&T transfer and commercialization network of highly trained professionals.
IC2 Institute: Innovation, Creativity, Capital
The IC2 Institute is a globally recognized “think and do” research center at The University of Texas at Austin. The Institute’s mission is to engage in cutting-edge research that contributes to the solving of unstructured problems related to market economies with a focus on accelerated technology-based growth in globally networked economies. This mission is carried forward with experiments in the Institute’s research laboratories and within the context of the “real world” to facilitate knowledge transfer that impacts economies.
The IC2 Institute has over thirty years of experience in researching, working and partnering on S&T commercialization and regional development projects in globally networked technology sectors. A key resource of the Institute is the IC2 Fellows Global Knowledge Network that includes over 160 active academics, scientists, managers, and public sector leaders from a broad range of institutional backgrounds and professional disciplines. The Fellows contribute their intellectual and practical expertise to Institute education and training programs, research activities, conferences and workshops, and mentoring.
Several IC2 initiatives and programs have established leading national and international reputations and these programs and activities have partnered with Portuguese technology transfer managers and staff, technology entrepreneurs, and select civic, academic, and business leaders. UTEN’s Portuguese partners are actively engaged in UTEN sponsored workshops, training, mentoring and Internship activities with the objective of building a globally competitive and sustainable science and technology commercialization infrastructure within Portugal. Following are IC2 Institute and Texas-based organizations that contribute to this important objective:
The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI)
Launched in 1989, the Austin Technology Incubator (www.ati.utexas.edu) is an experiential laboratory for research, education, and advancement of technology-based entrepreneurship. ATI leverages business, government, and academic resources to provide strategic counsel, operational guidance, and infrastructure support to its member companies and to accelerate their transition from early stage ventures to successful globally-competitive technology businesses. For example, in 1993 ATI established incubator programs with NASA at Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale, CA and Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX followed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Charleston, South Carolina, in 1995. In 1994 ATI received the NBIA National Business Incubator of the Year Award and launched six incubators in Russia under a USAID Program. In 1996 ATI received the Justin Morrill Award from the US Technology Transfer Society and an ATI’ company (Evolutionary Technologies International/ETI) was named NBIA incubator graduate of the year. Across its history ATI has hosted and worked with over 150 teams of entrepreneurs, who collectively have raised over $725 million dollars in investor capital while at ATI. Currently ATI focuses its incubation efforts in the following technology sectors: IT and Wireless, Bioscience, and Clean Energy.
ATI has trained and worked with incubator directors and managers and has hosted technology ventures with regional development leaders in Russia, Canada, Brazil, Japan, India, Korea, Mexico, Chile, Portugal, Australia, England, Poland, Germany, China, and Israel. With Portugal, for example, through collaboration with the Vector E IMPACT Program of the Technical University of Lisbon (IST), ATI played a key role in the US incubation and launch of the well-known Portuguese start-up venture, Critical Software.
Mexico’s Technology Business Accelerator (TechBA) – Lessons Learned for Portugal
TechBA Austin began operations in the Austin Technology Incubator in December 2005, with the objective of taking innovative Mexican-developed technologies and businesses to the US market. Teams of business development experts from IC2 Institute work in coordination with TechBA’s management team to support the Mexican companies in US business development.
Valuable lessons have been learned for the UTEN Program. For example, with the assistance of TechBA and IC2 Institute, in November 2008 Merkatum Corporation received $1 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) to expedite the commercialization of its web-based biometric software systems in the US market. Texas’ Emerging Technology Fund was created as a tool to develop and diversify the Texas economy by expediting innovation and commercialization of research. UTEN Austin is actively working with select Portuguese companies to possibly benefit from the ETF.
Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC)
IC2 Institute’s elite online and class-based, one-year, executive degree prepares students to be successful technology transfer managers, intrapreneurs, and entrepreneurs. Students learn to identify and evaluate emerging technologies, identify customers and marketing strategies, develop broad, flexible business plans, build high-functioning management teams to drive a new venture, devise approaches for securing funding, and manage and protect intellectual property. Students work on virtual and international S&T commercialization teams to produce year-end S&T business and marketing plans for international markets.
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883 and enrolls about 50,000 students from all 50 US states and more than 100 foreign countries, making it one of the largest universities in the world with a yearly operating budget of $2 Billion. UT Austin, a major research university, has 16 colleges and schools with 2,500 faculty and annual sponsored research funding of over $500 million. The US News & World Report annual survey ranks UT Austin among the top 15 public universities in the US. The National Research Council’s latest survey ranked seven UT Austin doctoral programs in the top ten nationally. The Times of London ranked UT Austin second among US public universities and 15th overall in its ranking of the world’s top 200 universities. From teaching and research to public service, the university’s activities support its mission and core purpose: To transform lives for the benefit of society through the core values of learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity and responsibility.
UT Austin’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC)
UT Austin’s OTC bridges between the research community at The University of Texas at Austin and national and international commercialization partners with the objective of ensuring an efficient and effective transfer of intellectual property created at the University. The OTC serves three distinct groups: the research community at the University, commercial partners, and society. UT Austin’s OTC managers and staff are actively engaged in training and mentoring Portuguese TTOs as well as serving as institutional hosts for several month-long internship programs. UTEN and UT’s OTC are also working to explore creative and innovative ways to partner with Portuguese TTOs such as cross-licensing university-based technologies and leveraging university-based research as well as exploring cross-national markets and licensing opportunities. UTEN is working to link Portuguese-based business plan competitions to Moot Corp and Idea2Product (I2P) competitions to facilitate multinational competitions and global market considerations.
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UT Austin Moot Corp
In 2009 UT Austin’s McCombs School Moot Corp, one of the world’s first business plan competitions, marked its 25th anniversary. Since its inception, more than $1 million has been awarded to innovative new ventures, and included nearly 1,500 students from 16 countries have participated. UT Austin Moot Corp has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today; Business Week dubbed Moot Corp the “Super Bowl of World Business-Plan Competitions.” Moot Corp competitors craft and refine business plans conducting extensive research on markets, licensing, patents and legal concerns. Four of the last five teams that won the Texas Moot Corp have received funding and successfully launched their businesses.
Idea-to-Product (I2P), College of Engineering
The Idea-to-Product™ (I2P) competition encourages engineering students and researchers to create successful commercial ventures from university-developed ideas and technologies. Each spring I2P sponsors a campus-wide contest at The University of Texas at Austin encouraging students from a variety of academic disciplines to mine the campus for commercially viable ideas. An international contest takes place each fall that attract students and researchers from around the world. The spring 2009 event offered $8,500 in prizes, with $5,000 going to the first-place team. Win or lose, participants gain feedback from potential investors, develop skills needed to take their ideas to global markets, and make contacts within the venture capital community.
Office of Technology Commercialization, University of Texas at Dallas
Housed in the heart of the Texas Telecom Corridor, the University of Texas at Dallas’ OTC was created in April 2008 with a venture-experienced team and customer-oriented philosophy to move commercially viable inventions more effectively from the lab to the market. The OTC streamlined its invention disclosure and evaluation processes and – because of its internal capabilities and its seamless collaboration with UTD’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) – focuses on creating and incubating UTD-affiliated startups (). An industry-friendly mindset and a determined focus on “getting to yes” quickly are attitudes designed to expedite licensing, form industry-UTD alliances, and facilitate start-ups. A primary objectives is to establish long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with inventors, industry partners and investors. The mission of the OTC is to effectively and efficiently facilitate the evaluation, protection, patenting and transfer of commercially viable, UTD innovations for the economic, social, environmental and cultural benefit of citizens of the region, the state, and society in general.
Office of Technology Commercialization, Texas A&M University
The mission of the OTC at Texas A&M university is to encourage broad practical application of Texas A&M System research for public benefit; to encourage and assist those associated with the System in the protection, licensing and commercialization of their discoveries; to ensure the equitable distribution of royalties and other monetary benefits resulting from the commercial application of intellectual property; and to see that commercialization activities benefit the research, education and outreach missions of the System into the future. Founded in 1992, The OTC at the Texas A&M System manages more than 900 patents and 1,500 patent applications relating to a portfolio of some 2,600 inventions. According to the Association of Technology Managers Annual Survey, the OTC is eighth in the nation in the number of license agreements generating revenue.
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a statewide network of nine universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center. The A&M System educates more than 109,000 students and reaches 15 million people through service each year. With nearly 27,000 faculty and staff, the A&M System has a physical presence in 250 of the state’s 254 counties and a programmatic presence in every Texas county. In 2008, externally funded research brought in almost $676 million to the state’s economy.
Office of Technology Commercialization, South Texas Technology Management (STTM), San Antonio
South Texas Technology Management (STTM) is a regional technology transfer office affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, (UTHSCSA), and allied with the research departments of the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA), the University of Texas Pan American (UTPA), and the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB). STTM’s mission is to provide comprehensive and integrated technology development services for affiliates using the most effective protection and commercialization strategies to stimulate and capitalize on each University’s intellectual property portfolio, thereby achieving maximum economic and humanitarian value for the institutions, staff, and communities.
STTM’s office is organized and staffed to handle effectively the multiple demands of a full-service office dedicated to stimulating growth in the quality and size of the intellectual property portfolio of the University, fully capitalize on the financial potential of opportunities through an energetic, entrepreneurial spirit and high level of performance, and accelerate the movement of technologies to the marketplace. Through value creation activities such as marketing, licensing, new company start-ups, financial valuations, business alliances, internal and external investment in technology development, while dealing with highly specialized contract issues regarding sponsored research, collaborations, Bayh-Dole compliance, patent prosecution, materials transfer, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and internal controls, plus invention-stimulating efforts in faculty education and other awareness-creating activities.
University of Texas at San Antonio CITE
The Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) is a joint venture between the Colleges of Business and Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). CITE serves students, faculty, and business entities through a process that helps establish a pipeline of technology entrepreneurs and is focused on accelerating the growth of new technology-based ventures. CITE is focused on four cornerstones of successful technology ventures: education, experience, resources, and support. CITE spearheads the study of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education and plans to cooperate with Portuguese researchers in exploring international comparisons. This intercollegiate effort between the Colleges of Business, Engineering, and Education studies the effects of entrepreneurial pedagogy and curriculum in a scientific manner in order to improve the quality of education and accelerate success of technology entrepreneurs.
INCELL and TEKSA, San Antonio
INCELL Corporation, LLC is a products manufacturer and contract services biopharmaceutical company with Innovative Life Science Solutions™ for its industry, government and research customers worldwide. Founded in 1993, INCELL is registered with FDA as a manufacturer of sterile liquid fill products and medical devices, and for process and use of human cells. INCELL’s mission is to provide innovative life science solutions to patients and professionals personalized medicine, stem cell technologies, cancer technologies, non-needle vaccines, Cryopreservation tools, novel manufacturing, and rapid inexpensive diagnostics to bring high quality products and services to those who need them. TEKSA’s Mission is to catalyze the commercialization and growth of biosciences and other technology-based startup and spin-off companies, facilitate technology transfer from academia and government research laboratories, and enhance economic development by creating jobs and new ventures.
TEKSA assists start-up and business development of TEKSA Portfolio Companies in the medical, biosciences, engineering, agricultural, environmental, and convergent technology sectors. In addition to providing Portfolio Companies with business support, expert business and technical advisory teams, access to networks, and use of facilities, Portfolio Companies gain access to IBM a preferred provider of information technology and services for TEKSA and TEKSA Portfolio Companies.
Austin and Texas
Austin, Texas is pleased to be a valued partner in the UTEN Portugal collaboration. Based on many national and international rankings, Austin is judged as one of the top US cities in terms of entrepreneurship, economic growth, and quality of life and is often referred to internationally as the “Austin Model” in terms of results oriented academic-business-government collaboration leading to accelerated technology-based growth. In short, Austin is considered an ideal US city partner for Portugal’s University Technology Based Network (UTEN). Key to Austin’s successful technology-based growth is the fact that the city and The University of Texas at Austin are able to educate, attract, and retain key US and international talent. This talent has been crucial to the establishment of globally competitive clusters in semiconductors, software and IT, and computers and peripherals as well as emerging clusters in biosciences, nanotechnology, digital media, clean energy and wireless technology.
San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative
SATAI began in 1999 as a grass roots community effort to develop the San Antonio tech economy. Individuals recognized the growth of the technology community and the region’s unique strengths. The City of San Antonio, academia, and industry joined forces around the common goals of collaboration and communication that fostered accelerated development of the technology industry sector.
Today, the organization is a private not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) Texas corporation that plays a key role in the development and implementation of initiatives that further the entrepreneurial environment and the opportunities produced by a vigorous technology economy.
SATAI is a technology commercialization center with a single point-of-entry to assist researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs and other companies to turn their innovations into enterprises. Delivery of comprehensive enterprise development services, know-how, and advice benefit the business objectives of those technology-based opportunities seeking support.
Pearland Economic Development Corporation
In 1995, the citizens of Pearland established the Pearland Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) to help the citizens and public officials of Pearland attract new businesses and existing businesses to expand. These objectives accomplish two major goals; attracting capital investment to add to Pearland’s tax base and to bring new and better paying jobs to the residents of Pearland.
The PEDC is the catalyst for this thriving business-friendly community, offering competitive incentives for new business such as a Freeport tax exemption and business development grants, as well as a Business Retention & Expansion program to address the needs and interests of existing companies. The PEDC is your business partner.