[UTA Magazine]


A high-tech hatching
Linking research, business is goal of joint UTA, Arlington Chamber of Commerce technology incubator


Mix a brilliant nanotechnology researcher with an investor, a marketing guru and a business startup entrepreneur, and what results can be, unfortunately, zero.

If all the entities know nothing about each other, the outcome tends to be an opportunities lost equation.

Enter the Arlington Technology Incubator, a partnership between the University and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. It will focus on technology transfers related to UTA's burgeoning scientific and engineering research efforts, including the University's growing nanotech and nanoscience programs.

Arlington Chamber of Commerce President Wes Jury predicts that the Arlington Technology Incubator will help create "the next generation of technology-based companies."

Nanotechnology focuses on the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules to create technological advances in minuscule circuits. Nanotechnology has applications in aerospace, biomedical, electrical, materials science and mechanical engineering and in various components of chemistry and physics.

Technology transfer is the often complex and multi-arena process of turning research into commercial applications.

"Research labs at universities all across the country are doing research that may have commercial applications," UTA President Robert E. Witt noted. "But they don't have the capital contacts and are not technology transfer experts."

UTA plans to become a national leader in such technology transfers, relying heavily on the incubator to get the job done.

The first director of the Arlington Technology Incubator is former Mayor Richard Greene, who is also an urban issues lecturer at the University.

Greene is accustomed to big projects and to working in multiple spheres of influence with crucial financial and political components. He directed the effort to bring the 2012 Olympics to the region. He was also the major player in Arlington's successful efforts to keep the General Motors plant and for the retention of the Texas Rangers baseball team. He will office on campus.

"The role of the incubator will be as a catalyst for the coming together of research and development with the commercial business sector," he said.

"One of the key elements is to involve financial and economic analysts to bring reality to the development of ideas."

In short, Greene said, the incubator program will be "leading edge."

"Bringing scientific research together with entrepreneurs could do more to advance the local economy and create rewarding jobs than anything we have ever seen," he added. "It is a unique challenge."

Too, the presence of the incubator, along with such supporting entities as the University's newly installed supercomputer system, should entice researchers with projects that lend themselves to technology transfer applications.

Result? Arlington Chamber President Wes Jury predicts that the incubator will be instrumental in creating "the next generation of technology-based companies."

For more information, go to www.uta.edu and use the search word "nanotechnology."


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