September 15, 2014
Texas Tech University officials break ground on Research and Technology Park.
Texas Tech University officials on Monday broke ground on the new Research and Technology Park, which will further help the move toward innovation and entrepreneurship.
Forged from the idea of more economically engaged universities by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Phase I includes the construction of a $29 million, 41,000 square-foot, two-story building located at the corner of Fourth Street and Quaker Avenue, directly west of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. It will include a common space for research programs that promote entrepreneurialism and innovation, space for public-private partnerships and an incubator/accelerator for new startup businesses.
“A 21st century university must be more entrepreneurial,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “We have to have opportunities for faculty and students to work with other scholars and industry in ways that accelerate new businesses and support startup companies. I think the first phase of our research park contributes to that significantly.”
According to Michael Molina, Texas Tech University System vice chancellor for facilities, planning and construction, the finished product will be a cutting-edge, technically advanced facility that will be both academic and attractive to the private sector. It will be able to house both traditional laboratories and computer visualization facilities.
Individuals, groups or businesses can lease space in the facility to conduct research, therefore it is separate from the rest of the Texas Tech campus and will be specifically designed so that outside factors, such as air quality or traffic on nearby streets, will not affect experiments or research being conducted inside.
“A lot of the innovation in academia is defining a new market since often there is no real context yet for such business products or services,” said Robert V. Duncan, Texas Tech vice president of research. “These early spin-offs are attempting to create the market that they intend to address. We hope that most of our tenants are faculty-based startups, but we are also open to companies from anywhere in the world. They might be interested in working with a specific professor or research groups at Texas Tech.”
The building is expected to be finished sometime during the summer of 2015.
The Office of Research and Innovation is tasked with facilitating excellence in research, scholarship and creative activity for Texas Tech students, faculty and staff. The office promotes an academic environment embracing creativity, curiosity, innovation, diversity, ethics and integrity.
Among other programs, the OR&I supports responsible and safe conduct of research, faculty development and recognition, interdisciplinary collaborations, externally sponsored research, partnerships with industry and community stakeholders, international research collaboration and the application of research for the benefit of society. The OR&I promotes a culture of creative expression, discovery, innovation and collaboration with the goal of advancing Texas Tech’s status as an elite national research university.Twitter