Texas Tech University

Virtual Discoveries to Impact Conference Awards $199,000

Glenys Young

April 6, 2021

Discoveries to Impact

The three-day event showcased research, engagement and innovation across the community.

Texas Tech University's annual Discoveries to Impact Week (DTI) brings together faculty, staff, students and the public to showcase research, engagement, innovation and business startups; compete for prize money for the best innovations and startup ideas; and hear from numerous thought leaders, intriguing panelists and dynamic innovators.

For the second time, it did so virtually – and with overwhelming success. Over the conference's three days, students and faculty research endeavors and startups were showcased, and winners took home a combined $199,000 to support their scholarly activities. More than 800 people participated.

Lawrence Schovanec
Lawrence Schovanec

“Each year, the Discoveries to Impact Conference presents some of the extraordinary talent of our students, faculty and staff,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. “Kimberly Gramm and her team have developed a thriving ecosystem at the Innovation Hub that values and supports the intersection of research and innovation. I am very proud of the dedication of all involved and look forward to this event resuming on campus in the future.”

Texas Tech Accelerator

Thanks to the 34 mentors and volunteers who helped score business plans, the Innovation Hub at Research Park awarded a total of $175,000 to the seven startup companies accepted into its 2021 Texas Tech Accelerator program. These teams now gain access to initial seed-funding support, each receiving a $25,000 grant, co-working space, education and team mentoring during the yearlong process designed to help launch startup companies or discover licensing opportunities based on proven ideas, inventions or intellectual property from university technologies.

Kimberly Gramm
Kimberly Gramm

“All year, faculty, staff, industry mentors and students develop ideas to solve problems and create impact to make Texas a better place – this is a remarkable undertaking of Red Raider talent and passion,” said Gramm, the associate vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship. “Our 18 sponsors highlighted the entrepreneurs and scholars by funding the competitions and prizes awarded during the conference and demonstrating the community's commitment to innovation – a truly special experience.”

Undergraduate Research Conference

The Undergraduate Research Conference (URC), hosted by the Center for Transformative Undergraduate Experiences (TrUE), is one of the largest interdisciplinary undergraduate research conferences in the nation. This year it brought together 280 students to share their knowledge and ingenuity, 215 through recorded presentations of their research and creative activities and 190 in-person Impact Talks. Presentations included artistic performances and visual art exhibits representing a broad range of fields, including the humanities, performing arts, biological and chemical sciences, social sciences and physical sciences.

 Michael Galyean
Michael Galyean

Winners will be awarded a combined $17,500 from the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance.

“We are excited to award $17,500 in outstanding student presenter awards, thanks to a generous contribution from the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance,” said Levi Johnson, director of TrUE.

Awards will be announced on the TrUE this week.

“The Undergraduate Research Conference and Discoveries to Impact Week are highlights of our spring semester,” said Texas Tech Provost Michael Galyean. “It is exciting to engage with students at the beginning of their development as scholars and professionals. Thanks to all the students, faculty and staff who worked so hard to make this event possible.”

Engaged Scholarship Symposium

During the Engaged Scholarship Symposium, University Outreach and Engagement awarded $6,500 to winners of the President's Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Awards and the President's Emerging Engaged Scholarship Award and recognized the President's Exemplary Program Award. The awards recognize Texas Tech faculty who demonstrate exemplary engagement with community partners through a project or initiative aimed at finding solutions to important social, economic or environmental issues.

Birgit Green
Birgit Green

Courtney Griesel, economic development director of Springfield, Oregon, and co-founder of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities – Network (EPIC-N), gave the keynote address, “The Role of Public Universities in Building Resilient Communities.”

“It is so exciting to hear the Texas Tech panelists discuss their engaged scholarship projects and collaborations with community partners,” said Birgit Green, assistant vice provost of University Outreach and Engagement. “In fact, this year several of the award-winning teams included their community partners in the discussion. Hearing the community's voice and the impact that the partnership is having on both the community and the university is very eye-opening. It highlights the value of engaged scholarship and the important societal contributions of our faculty, staff and students.”