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TechFW@UTA to propel University research, innovation toward commercialization

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Monday, October 21, 2013

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

News Topics: business, engineering, research, science

ARLINGTON, TX – The University of Texas at Arlington and TechFW, a Fort Worth-based technology startup initiative, have agreed to a multi-year partnership to commercialize  University research and move innovation to the marketplace.

TechFW@UTA will offer training and educational programs to UT Arlington faculty, staff and students. UT Arlington faculty members and research teams will gain access to the North Texas entrepreneurial community through the TechFW network.

Baohong Yuan

Baohong Yuan, UT Arlington bioengineering assistant professor, works with some of his students on his research of capturing better pictures of tumors in deep tissue.

The partnership comes as UT Arlington’s research profile continues to accelerate. The University tallied $77.7 million in total research expenditures in the 2012-2013 fiscal year that ended Aug. 31.

“Research and technologies developed by a major research institution like UT Arlington have the power to generate business and strengthen the region’s economy,” said Carolyn Cason, UT Arlington vice president for research. “This collaboration with TechFW will be an important catalyst for helping the private sector capitalize on UT Arlington innovation to benefit a broad range of businesses and industries.”

Darlene Boudreaux, executive director of TechFW, said the new relationship creates significant opportunities for her organization’s other clients, as well.

“There will be plenty of economic opportunities for our existing clients to access the tremendous resources available at UT Arlington,” Boudreaux said. “We look forward to teaming with UT Arlington entities like the UT Arlington Research Institute and the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technology, and with professors who have secured numerous national grants.”

TechFW was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit organization to diversify the Fort Worth economy through an emphasis on new technologies. Originally funded by private foundations, TechFW is now supported by the City of Fort Worth, the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, The University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Christian University and corporate donors from across North Texas.

The agency’s mission is to encourage the development of the technology business community by helping regional entrepreneurs commercialize innovative technologies.

Among the TechFW success stories is ZS Pharma, a pharmaceutical company that moved to Texas in 2010 and partnered with TechFW’s to help move a new drug to market. TechFW matched the company with local service providers, providing lab space, identifying management team members and securing initial funding for the company. Since then, ZS Pharma has raised more than $70 million in funding and the drug is in phase 3 of clinical trials, Boudreaux said.

UT Arlington faculty and researchers will have access to existing TechFW offices at Fort Worth’s James E. Guinn School facility, 1120 South Freeway, and at the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Acceleration Lab, 3400 Camp Bowie Blvd.

But TechFW will also maintain offices at the UT Arlington Office of Research Administration, 202 E. Border St., and eventually in the College of Business.

UT Arlington faculty and researchers will have access to TechFW’s core programs, including an Incubation Workshop, the Acceleration Program, Tech Nest, the Cowtown Angels Network and TechFW’s biweekly, online radio show, Tech Talk – Texas Style.

The agency also plans to establish a new  program called Breakthough at UT Arlington that will identify identify commercial value of research projects and will communicate with and engage stakeholders early in the research process.

“Breakthrough will afford up to 20 UT Arlington researchers a year the opportunity to better focus their discovery or invention for the investor community,” Boudreaux said. “Researchers and professors will gain insight into how business people think and how to move their concepts closer toward market applications.”

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington, a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,300 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. It is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

About TECH FW

TechFW encourages the development of the technology business community by helping regional entrepreneurs commercialize innovative technology. The nonprofit organization identifies entrepreneurs and startup companies with technologies that have a high potential for success in the marketplace, then matches resources of the community with the passion of entrepreneurs, and then mentor, coach, and relentlessly push the entrepreneurs toward success.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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