SSTI Digest

Geography: Texas

TX Governor's Budget Adds $15M for Tech Fund, Retains Enterprise Fund

Citing the need to ensure a competitive edge in the weak economic climate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is asking lawmakers to continue investing in the state's economic development tools by providing an additional $15 million for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) and retaining funding for the Texas Enterprise Fund in the coming biennium. The governor also is proposing $50 million for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarships and $32 million to increase STEM academies.

TBED People

Maine Governor Paul LePage named Phillip Congdon as the new commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. Cogndon is a licensed professional engineer who spent more than 20 years with Texas Instruments in Dallas. He replaces Acting Commissioner Thaxter Trafton.

Funding Higher Ed in the Post Recession Era: CO, TX and VA Offer Recommendations

With the end of federal stimulus funding for higher education on the horizon, states are considering proposals to retool current funding formulas for colleges and universities and looking to alternative funding sources to sustain their programs and services in the coming years. Ahead of the 2011 legislative session, groups commissioned by governors in Colorado and Virginia recommended a voter-approved tax and more stable funding streams from the state, respectively. In Texas, the Higher Education Coordinating Board endorsed a method in which a percentage of university funding would be based on student outcomes. The proposals were submitted to Gov. Rick Perry and the legislature last week, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

MS Special Session Produces Incentives for Biofuels Development

Lawmakers called into special session on Friday approved a $75 million incentive package for a Texas-based energy company to build five biofuel facilities in the state expected to generate 1,000 new jobs through a total $500 million investment. The package approved by lawmakers also includes $4 million for a workforce training fund through the state's institutions of higher education and up to $2 million for biomass research at Alcorn State University and Mississippi State University.

TBED People

Ray Gilley resigned as chief executive of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission after nine years on the job. Gilley was responsible for helping lure the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute to Central Florida.

Incubator RoundUp

Specialized and high-tech incubators provide crucial services and resources to promote and enhance Commercialization & Entrepreneurship, one of the six thematic tracks of this year's annual conference. Three sessions tied to this theme will be explored during SSTI's annual conference, focusing on direct lessons from successful and proven TBED programs, regional innovation clustering, and more. They include:

TBED People and Organizations

Patrick Draper has been appointed as president and CEO of the Toronto Region Research Alliance.

TBED People and Organizations

TBED People
Michael Burcham has been named the first president of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Burcham currently serves as a clinical faculty member at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management.

University of Texas Launches Campus-wide Commercialization Effort

The University of Texas at Austin recently announced the formation of a university-wide initative to support technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and innovation. Venture Labs Texas will assist new ventures at the university and broker deals with sources of capital, including venture funds, angel investors and Texas' Emerging Technology Fund. Read more about Venture Labs at the University of Texas at Austin at:

Election Results: Texas Prop 4 Commits $500 Million toward University Research

Texas leaders have fully embraced the importance that strongly supported top-tier research universities can serve for attracting and retaining high-wage technology companies and as drivers for future economic growth. With Tuesday’s passage of Proposition 4 by a solid 56.7 percent majority, it is evident the voting population of the Lone Star State gets it as well.

Texas Legislators Approve Funding, Incentives to Help Universities Reach Tier One Status

Seven emerging research universities in Texas would receive funding and incentives to help advance their status to nationally-recognized tier one schools following passage of HB 51, awaiting Gov. Rick Perry's signature.

TBED People and Organizations

W. Steven Burke is the new president of Biofuels Center of North Carolina.