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Foreword: At the nexus of innovation

Energy fears. Environmental concerns. Health-related issues. They are among the world’s biggest challenges, and it is no coincidence that The University of Texas at Arlington has established itself as a leader in all three areas.

Exploring solutions to today’s most pressing problems is what drives UT Arlington’s vast research engine. An engine, we might add, that runs on renewable energy.

Breakthroughs in producing sustainable fuels and harvesting power from wind and water sources show promise in fortifying the world’s energy supply. A patented device that stores such power for use during peak periods is among the University’s many research endeavors dedicated to preserving our planet’s resources for future generations. In the medical arena, advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases offer help for today and hope for tomorrow.

You’ll read about these initiatives and more in this issue of Inquiry. Not only does the magazine have a new name (formerly it was Research), it is now organized thematically to highlight areas of research excellence.

UT Arlington focuses on transforming its discoveries into marketable products and has emerged as a hub where major players in the technology community intersect. In partnership with the Center for Innovation at Arlington, the University’s faculty inventors now have a venue to meet and interact with entrepreneurs, investors, and business people to conceptualize the world of tomorrow and how to get there.

Research collaborations between UT Arlington faculty and key high-tech industry partners have increased dramatically, as has developing commercialization infrastructure aimed at encouraging faculty to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. With more than 60 invention disclosures this past year and 30 patent applications currently under consideration by the United States Patent and Technology Office, faculty inventors have distinguished UT Arlington not only within the UT System but throughout Texas.

In fact, the University has received the most awards (10 for $475,000) in the Texas Ignition Fund (TIF) initiative of any UT System institution since the Board of Regents established the program in 2007. TIF support is designed to stimulate commercialization of research discoveries by providing early-stage grants for the development and maturation of such discoveries into marketable intellectual property, particularly to help bridge the gap between discovery and invention.

Our researchers reflect the quality and growing confidence that we’ve come to expect at UT Arlington. In addition to expanding laboratories and new buildings that broaden our realm of discovery, we will continue to invest in world-class faculty that will increase externally funded research, attract state-of-the-art equipment, and boost cutting-edge research capacity.

All are integral components of our mission to become a major national research university, and we are well on our way.