AUSTIN – The University of Texas System awarded two $750,000 Novel Educational Programs in Innovation and Entrepreneurship grants to fund projects and programs that accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation. These two grants will fund novel programs that will train current faculty members and students in entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialization.
Allan Brasier, director of the Institute for Translational Sciences at The University of Texas Medical Branch, David McPherson, director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Stanley Watowich, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at The University of Texas Medical Branch received a grant for their proposal, "Texas CTSA Collaborative Innovation & Entrepreneurial Program."
Cory Hallam, director of the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at San Antonio and Oliver Wenker, director of the Office of Technology Discovery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center received a grant for their proposal, "The UT TRANSFORM Program."
"The UT System and the Board of Regents recognize the high importance of training and supporting our faculty and students in entrepreneurism, in creating novel research enterprises and in forming working collaborations with industry. The grant candidates were truly amazing in quality, originality and collaboration and the two awardees will undoubtedly be successful and have high impact across UT institutions," said Patricia Hurn, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Science Research at The University of Texas System.
American universities have been the heart of innovation throughout history and today's major discoveries are not just benefiting society, they are also generating significant dollars for the institutions. The call for research universities to serve as entrepreneurial centers that drive research breakthroughs and discover solutions to large-scale scientific and social problems led The University of Texas System Board of Regents in 2007 to authorize $5 million for the Graduate Program Initiative, a competitive grant program to support innovations in the education of nonprofessional graduate students at UT System academic and health institutions. Today, just over $1.5 million remains and was transferred to fund grants for the Novel Educational Programs in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, the University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities and six health science centers. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 215,000 in the 2011 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.1 billion (FY 2012) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With roughly 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.