System Chancellor John Sharp and Texas A&M President M. Katherine Banks announced their decision to reorganize and consolidate five commercialization offices.
A boom in startups is primed to begin in Aggieland.
Leaders within The Texas A&M University System said this week that they expect a new approach to commercialization to lead to the creation of thousands of original discoveries, hundreds of innovative companies and a massive increase in patents derived from the hard work of Texas A&M System researchers and scientists.
“I expect big things from the new commercialization push at Texas A&M,” Sharp said. “I think A&M System inventors will spark an explosion of venture capital and the creation of a lot of exciting new companies.”
At the heart of the new direction is the vision of Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp and President M. Katherine Banks of Texas A&M University. Sharp and Banks realized the opportunities that will be realized when Texas A&M and the System reorganize and consolidate of five commercialization offices that have operated independently until now.
The move brings together the commercialization offices of:
- Texas A&M University
- Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
- Texas A&M Transportation Institute
- Texas A&M AgriLife Research and
- Texas A&M System’s Technology Commercialization Office
Together, the historically separate entities now will serve all 19 members of the Texas A&M System. Sharp said the new office will help the System to build a robust commercialization ecosystem and will allow System researchers to license technology and form companies that address national and global challenges.
Sharp and Banks also announced the leaders of the effort. Peter O’Neill, who has extensive experience in commercialization at one of the nation’s most pioneering medical institutions, the Cleveland Clinic, will lead the office as the inaugural Chief Innovation Officer. Also, Joe Cunningham, who holds a bachelor’s degree and medical degree from Texas A&M, will be the chairman of a new Innovation Advisory Council. Cunningham co-founded Santé Ventures in Austin in 2006 and is nationally recognized for his expertise in the health care sector.
Sharp and Banks reached the decision to consolidate the commercialization offices after they engaged with faculty, staff, inventors, leadership, alumni, venture capitalists, incubator and accelerator directors, innovation leaders at peer institutions. The goal from the beginning was to understand how to make the Texas A&M commercialization enterprise a national model and a leader among all U.S. universities.
The idea behind the concept came out of a need for a more streamlined way to take new ideas and inventions and commercialize them and quickly get them into the marketplace. The consolidated effort will provide centralized intellectual property protection, licensing and assistance for new venture formation for all members.
“Our new approach to commercialization will significantly benefit our researchers, The Texas A&M University System and society at large. Streamlining and expanding our resources will drive life-changing technology and solutions to the market faster, increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and generate revenue to support the future success of these new companies and their innovations,” Banks said. “I believe our approach will soon be a model for other top universities across the country.”
The new combined office has set up in a renovated and contemporary space in Century Square in College Station, a complex of high-end hotels, restaurants, shops and apartments.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $7.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.