The new facility will promote collaborative research and entrepreneurship between the university and the business community.
Texas Tech University on Wednesday (Aug. 5) officially opened the Texas Tech University Innovation Hub and Research Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility.
The 40,000-square-foot, $29 million facility near the corner of Fourth Street and Quaker Avenue will promote entrepreneurialism, innovation and partnerships between Texas Tech and Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and business communities to further research efforts in a myriad of areas. The Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified facility will have both traditional laboratories and computer visualization facilities.
“Engagement strengthens innovation, and Texas Tech University is bridging the gap between research and industry,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “This facility will provide the essential space and work environment conducive to collaboration with our business partners. Today marks an important step forward for the university's entrepreneurial research enterprise.”
The Innovation Hub and Research Park is a critical component in Texas Tech's push toward becoming a major and innovative national research university as well as a key piece of the economic and academic landscape in West Texas.
Individuals, groups or businesses can lease space in the facility to conduct research, making it separate from the rest of the Texas Tech campus and specifically designed so that outside factors, such as air quality or traffic on nearby streets, will not affect experiments or research being conducted inside.
“We are delighted that Texas Tech University's Innovation Hub at Research Park is now a reality, following years of hard work by so many dedicated people,” said Robert V. Duncan, Texas Tech vice president for research. “This facility is designed to help our faculty and students move great ideas and opportunities from our research efforts into the marketplace and develop major, new public-private partnerships to expand both our programs at Texas Tech and our knowledge-based economy across West Texas.”
One company has already committed to moving into the facility. Chromatin, an agbiotech company headquartered in Chicago dedicated to uncovering solutions to some of the biggest global agricultural issues today, will move its research and development team to the Innovation Hub, creating approximately 12 new jobs.
Kinetic Accelerator, Innovated by Texas Tech also will move into the Research Park. Kinetic helps launch startup companies and uncovers licensing opportunities based on innovative technologies developed from research labs at Texas Tech, NASA and elsewhere.
Texas Tech also has created the Texas Tech Innovation, Mentorship and Entrepreneurialism (TTIME) organization, which also will be housed at the Research Park. TTIME is committed to assisting students in developing entrepreneurial ideas.
“This beautiful facility underscores Texas Tech University's commitment to not only innovation and research, but also to our desire to serve as an incubator for groundbreaking ideas,” Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan said. “I want to congratulate Dr. Nellis and Dr. Duncan for their leadership in making this bold vision a West Texas reality.”
According to Michael Molina, Texas Tech University System vice chancellor for facilities, planning and construction, the finished product is a cutting-edge, technically advanced facility that will be both academic and attractive to the private sector.
The Innovation Hub and Research Park includes a common space for research programs that promotes entrepreneurialism and innovation, space for public-private partnerships and an incubator/accelerator for new startup businesses.