Gov. Perry: Texas Can Be the Nation's Next High-Tech Hub

Convenes Governor’s Technology and Economic Development Forum to advance state’s culture of entrepreneurship

Tuesday, April 19, 2011  •  Austin, Texas  • 
Rick Perry today urged leaders in higher education and technology to continue working to make Texas the nation’s next hub for innovation, collaboration and competition in technology development and manufacturing. He spoke at the Governor’s Technology and Economic Development Forum, hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce, where he was joined by business, technology and higher education leaders including Austin Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bobby Jenkins, Cisco Systems Chairman and CEO John Chambers (via telepresence), Tokyo Electron Holdings U.S. President Barry Mayer and University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

“What we discuss today will set the stage for our state’s prosperity for years to come,” Gov. Perry said. “Making Texas the nation’s next high tech hub will require the teamwork and dedication of professors, researchers, administrators and legislators along with the private sector working together toward a common goal. I believe it can happen, and if we make the right choices, it will.”

The governor highlighted the importance of ongoing efforts to attract world-class researchers and investment dollars to the state through programs like the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF), which has helped bring ground-breaking research and technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace and keep these innovations in Texas. Since its inception, the TETF has allocated more than $193.7 million in funds to 131 companies and nearly $173 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities

“There is an opportunity to capitalize on the significant potential that exists in Texas to make it an innovation center of excellence,” Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers said. “This can only become a reality with increased collaboration and commitment between the technology sector, government and higher education.”

In order to make this high tech hub a reality, Gov. Perry underscored the importance of ensuring Texans have access to a quality, affordable higher education, and reiterated his higher education goals for this legislative session. The governor has recently challenged universities to develop bachelor’s degree programs that cost no more than $10,000, including textbooks; called for a four-year tuition freeze at the level a student pays his or her freshman year to help make financial planning more predictable for families; and called for the creation of an outcomes-based funding system that ties a portion of undergraduate funding to graduation rates, rather than just enrollment.

The agenda for the forum follows:

Welcome: Bobby Jenkins, CEO, ABC Residential & Commercial Services, 2011 Austin Chamber of Commerce Chairman

Keynote Address: Gov. Rick Perry

Technology/Economic Overview of Central Texas: Jack McDonald, Chairman and CEO, Silverback Acquisitions

Panel Discussion I: Austin Business/Economic Development/Venture Capital Climate
Moderator: Barry Mayer, President, Tokyo Electron Holdings U.S.
Rick Orr, CEO, TabbedOut
Mir Imran, Chairman, InCube Labs
Laura Kilcrease, Managing Director, Triton Ventures

Reaching and Leveraging the Potential of Innovation: John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems (via telepresence)

Panel Discussion II: Higher Education in Texas
Moderator: Francisco Cigarroa, Chancellor, University of Texas System
John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems
Fred Heldenfels, Chairman, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Thomas Gilligan, Dean, UT Austin McCombs School of Business
Gregory Fenves, Dean, UT Austin School of Engineering
Blake Petty, Assistant Vice President for Technology Transfer and Business Development, Texas A&M University

To see the Governor's press release and video of Mir Imran, go to:

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Stephanie McGrory
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