ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce are refocusing efforts to increase economic development through research with the formal dedication of the Center for Innovation at Arlington.
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and U.S. Rep. Joe Barton are scheduled to attend the dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 9, at the center, 202 E. Border St.
"The center represents the innovation ecosystem necessary to serve as a catalyst for technology-based economic development," said Wes Jurey, chamber president and chief executive officer. "The center will enable Arlington to remain competitive in a globally integrated marketplace."
Research leading to innovative, marketable discoveries has been a main driver of sustainable economic development, Jurey said.
UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said, "We believe this center can have a transformative effect on North Texas, just like the Stanford Research Institute had on Silicon Valley."
The Center for Innovation is jointly managed by the chamber and the university. The collaborative effort aims to provide access to venture capital for innovative research discoveries, to move the technology to market and to attract talent and know-how - including research scientists and entrepreneurs - to North Texas.
The three-story center houses the Arlington Technology Incubator, the UT Arlington Office of Research Administration, the Venture Innovation Partnership and the newly established Center for Entrepreneurship, which is supported by UT Arlington's College of Business. The Center for Entrepreneurship also includes the Small Business Development Center, the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center.
"The University's major connection at the center will continue to be research and moving those fledgling research firms into the marketplace," said Kelsey Downum, UT Arlington's senior associate vice president for research.
"We also wanted companies with great ideas that are interested in the center to know it is open to everyone in North Texas," Downum said.
The center also will help with relocation efforts, business expansion and provide aid to the small businesses community, said Sergio Bento, center director.
"We'll also provide networking and education to small-, minority- and women-owned businesses that need those resources," Bento said.
Earlier this year, Fred Patterson, a nationally known technology business expert with more than 40 years experience joined the center team. Patterson is nationally known for his ability to help secure early stage venture capital for start-up businesses. He has contracted with the university/chamber joint venture as a business coach to further develop research ideas and bring them to fruition.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.