Systemwide Efforts

As part of the larger Competitiveness Initiative, the UT System has undertaken a variety of related programs and initiatives to further promote excellence in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine/health.

The Science and Technology Acquisition and Recruitment (STARs) Program increases the research capacity of UT System institutions by funding start-up packages for outstanding faculty in STEMM fields and other areas of distinctive strength. Factors which are considered for the use of these monies include:

  • The extent to which the recruitment will provide outstanding scientific leadership in an area of significant strength to the individual institution, e.g., the addition of a high-quality research program in an underdeveloped area within the institution, or a substantial enhancement of an existing program.
  • The extent to which recruitment provides important research leadership in a priority area for the University of Texas System and/or the State of Texas, e.g. research in underdeveloped aspects of science, engineering, or technology or for moving to a higher level in an established program.
  • The extent to which the recruitment would introduce a researcher into high quality collaborative activities involving interactions between health science campuses and academic campuses, or among multiple campuses.
  • The extent to which the recruitment will contribute to scientific development in areas bridging multiple disciplines, enhancing translation of research from bench to bedside, or provide scientific or technological skills supportive of a number of other investigators and/or programs.

Under a Partnership with Sandia National Laboratories the UT System Board of Regents has allocated $1.9 million (with a dollar-for-dollar match from SNL) for six initiatives that create a competitive advantage in solving "grand challenges" by building on the complementary competencies of world-class researchers and resources. The finest researchers in the nation are working together on areas such as an aggregate model of healthcare delivery and healthcare financing, biodefense and emerging infectious disease, computational modeling of geosystems, computer-aided engineering for nanopatterning processes, laser science and technology, high energy physics, nano-enabled self-powering sensors, nano-engineered chemical processing, and plasma science. The return on investment for the UT System Board of Regents is remarkable. For example, as of March 2009, the National Initiative for Modeling and Simulation had secured about $40 million in funding and had outstanding proposals for another $70 million. In addition to these monetary returns, the partnership is developing solutions to issues basic to the life of Americans, such as health, security, and energy. Read the news release announcing the MOU.

Ignite Texas! is the umbrella initiative of ten major programs supporting a wide variety of technology commercialization aspects from the funding of scientists and inventors to the creation and maintenance of start-up companies. One of the programs under Ignite Texas! is the Texas Ignition Fund which was developed to accelerate the movement of discoveries by faculty into the commerical domain through grants of up to $50,000. Read more about companies that got their start up through a TIF award.

The Chancellor's Entrepreneurship & Innovation Awards Program was established to recognize researchers who exemplify ingenuity, creativity, and innovation in research through $10,000-$15,000 awards for commercialized or commercializable research that has the potential to yield a profound impact on the citizens of Texas and on all of society.

The University of Texas System. Nine Universities. Six Health Institutions. Unlimited Possibilities. www.utsystem.edu