Oct. 3, 2011
Discussing his own research findings at the center opening was Dr. Walter E. Voit, who is both a UT Dallas assistant professor and the chief technology officer of Syzygy Memory Plastics.
New Center to Help Nurture Research Spinoff Companies
Venture Development Space Designed to Aid in Technology Commercialization
Oct. 3, 2011
Entrepreneur-minded researchers at UT Dallas now have a space where they can further develop technologies that may one day be manufactured or produced.
The newly opened Venture Development Center is a dedicated space for spinoff companies that are affiliated with the University. This 8,000-square-foot space will facilitate the launch of UT Dallas enterprises that are founded on technology developed here by students and faculty.
Vice President for Research Bruce Gnade and UT Dallas President David E. Daniel cut the ribbon formally opening the Venture Development Center.
“This is exciting news for UT Dallas because it will provide space for our startups that is both economical and close to campus,” said Robert Robb, associate vice president for technology commercialization at UT Dallas. “Because these enterprises are in early stages of technology development, they are limited in their financial resources. We wanted to help by providing economical space making it both convenient and inexpensive to develop technology.”
The new center is the result of a multi-year effort by UT Dallas faculty, administration, the Research Office, the Office of Technology Commercialization, and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas to assist in the commercialization of UT Dallas innovations through the creation of new businesses. Within the last three years, UT Dallas has had 13 spinoff companies that have created more than 50 jobs.
Many of these nascent companies need to expand beyond University laboratory space in an effort to transfer technology to the private sector.
The space, housed within the UT Dallas Research and Operations Center, includes 11 offices, six laboratories and central facilities including conference rooms and media kitchen. The proximity with other researchers, Robb said, will also be conducive to interaction with other startups.
Richardson City Council member Amir Omar (right) helps celebrate the debut of the Venture Development Center.
“The Venture Development Center provides a vital link between faculty labs and the marketplace,” said Rafael Martin, associate vice president for research at UT Dallas. “It extends and expands the educational and research missions of the university by converting the ideas and technologies developed by our students and faculty into novel products and services that have a positive impact on society.”
Another component of the center is a mentoring program for the new startups that will assist with some of the hurdles new companies often encounter.
“The Center’s team of mentors is comprised of serial entrepreneurs, seasoned professionals who have successfully launched and built new enterprises,” Robb said. “They can help with organizational issues, financing questions, as well as with strategic planning, and marketing. The University will also offer educational programs through the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas, that will assist companies in the Center.”
Eight companies will be housed in the new center immediately. Innovations being developed include novel materials, medical diagnostics, enterprise software, nanotechnology, Internet applications and power technology.
“The Venture Development Center became a reality due to the tremendous support of many, including our administration and the Office of Research here at UT Dallas to accomplish this,” Robb said. “It wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
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