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bionorthTX iC3 Life Sciences Summit

October 12, 2017

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the University of Texas at Arlington and the 3rd Annual iC3 Life Sciences Summit. Thank you for what you are enabling – increasing the competitiveness of our region as a premier global location for biotechnology and biomedical research, education and industry. You are not only encouraging innovation and growth you are helping change the mechanisms by which healthcare is delivered and the way in which we will think of health in the future.

Just as you have, we, at UTA, have evolved, expanded, and enhanced our excellence since the last summit. Allow me to provide a few examples.

We ended the last academic year a few months ago

  • having served almost 59,000 students through on-campus and on-line degree programs making us one of the largest universities in Texas;
  • having graduated over 12,700 students at the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral levels, in areas of high workforce need, many of whom are coveted by your organizations as employees;
  • having far more graduates from our College of Nursing and Health Innovation than any other institution in the state. In fact, over the past two years in the State of Texas one out of every two bachelor’s degrees, one out of every four at the master’s level, and one out of every five at the doctoral level in nursing were awarded by UTA;
  • being ranked the #1 national public university for lowest debt and among the among the top 25 “leader” universities among the nation’s 342 selective, four-year public research institutions, in providing high social mobility;
  • being ranked the top university in Texas for adult learners, and the top four-year institution in Texas for veterans; and
  • continuing to have programs in each of our schools and colleges ranked among the nation’s best resulting in a jump of another nine ranks nationally in the Center for World University Rankings, 30 ranks in four years which is incredible by any standard.

We are not only Tarrant County’s Carnegie R-1 institution but also a growing hub for innovation and excellence in the life sciences based on our efforts under the strategic plan theme of Health and Human Condition.

Our focus in health sciences has been enhanced through the continuing addition of a growing group of top medical researchers resulting in leading groups in cancer, brain trauma, cardio-oncology and muscle weakness, genomics, immunotherapeutics, population health, exercise science and rehabilitation, pediatrics and gerontology.

From the development of computational models to understand battlefield blast induced damage to neurons and the effect of shock waves on injuries to the brain, to the integration of a portable brain imaging system with an advanced signal-processing technique to better measure babies' neurophysiology, and the development of a revolutionary device that could stimulate bone growth and ultimately be used as a weapon against osteoporosis, our faculty are creating new knowledge through enquiry and translating discovery into innovation that change the way we address and treat issues related to health and wellness.

We are thrilled to have the iC3 summit held on our campus since it signifies the level of collaboration that we desire between academia and industry – working together to not just enable discoveries but to transform the Metroplex into the nation’s leading hub for life and health sciences. Next summer our faculty will be moving into a new 220,000 square foot Science and Engineering Innovation Research Building – home for our researchers in advancing health and the human condition. The state-of-the-art building will be home to researchers from the Colleges of Engineering, Science, and Nursing and Health Innovation, working together utilizing unique research lab neighborhoods which will accommodate interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students working together on cutting-edge research in areas such as chronic illness, aging and injury, cancer research, and neuroscience among others. Designed to serve as a hub for our faculty, researchers and students and as a further catalyst for enhancing health sciences at UTA this building also offers the opportunity for university-industry collaboration at a level not seen before. I invite each of you to meet with our VPR, Dr. Duane Dimos, our AVP for foundation and corporate relations, Mr. Jim Shea, and their teams to explore how we might find synergy and work together. You will find UTA to be a willing and flexible partner, eager to move discovery from the lab to the real world, committed to doing away with bureaucracy to enable true collaboration, and not focused on holding back intellectual property.

Driven by our goal of exploring health management within physical, mental, emotional, and social contexts, with health innovations being distinguished by diagnostic, prognostic, and technological advancements that help people live longer, healthier, and happier lives, and in collaboration with our current corporate partners, we are determined to make a difference, to change the landscape, to have a true impact and to ford the continuum from basic research to commercialization, providing transformative educational experiences to our students along the way.

This is indeed an exciting time at UTA and in North Texas. I’d like to believe that the close relationship between bionorthTX and UTA are the beginning of a move that creates a new biotech hub in the US – one to rival the hubs in Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, and even the corridor between Orlando and Tampa. I believe it can be done and I hope that a few years into the future we will look back and remember this summit as the genesis of North Texas’ acceleration into a world of biotech excellence.

I hope you have a tremendous meeting today and that we meet again in a year to celebrate significant successes and advances. We cannot afford not to – North Texas is depending on us.

Thank you.