Texas Tech University

New Name, Enhanced Vision for Office of Research and Innovation

Kaitlyn Hale

November 8, 2018

The former Office of the Vice President for Research continues to emphasize innovation.

A closer alignment with the Texas Tech University strategic plan and a broader vision of the role that university research should play at the state and national levels has led to the rebranding of a key Texas Tech office. The former Office of the Vice President for Research now has a new name: The Office of Research and Innovation (OR&I).

Joseph Heppert
Joseph Heppert

“This change highlights our mission to foster university-driven innovation along with the office's traditional mission in promoting and providing oversight of Texas Tech University research,” said Joseph Heppert, vice president for research and innovation. 

Texas Tech has long been a university with world-class innovators. As the entrepreneurial success of its faculty and students has grown, so have the resources for supporting innovation within the OR&I.

“Research conducted by Texas Tech faculty generates knowledge and products that can have life-changing benefits for the public,” Heppert said. “As we continue to support and grow research, we also want to make sure these innovations are commercialized and become available to the people who need them.”

Services supporting research grant development and responsible conduct of researchare still central to the office's mission. The inclusion of “innovation” in the new office title reflects the expanding role of the OR&I in supporting entrepreneurship among faculty, students, staff and the community.

As new technology emerges from researchers, the Office of Research Commercialization assists them in the technology evaluation and patent and licensing processes. The Innovation Hub at Research Park provides students of all majors, faculty in all disciplines and members of the West Texas community an environment to learn innovation and entrepreneurial skills. The Innovation Hub also offers grants and resources, such as state-of-the-art lab and office space, to support startup companies. Programs at the Innovation Hub and the Small Business Development Center provide opportunities for the community to deepen their practical business knowledge, helping sustain successful business in Lubbock and throughout West Texas.