With the rapidly developing landscape of North Texas innovation ecosystems and the global connectivity we already have in place, we have become one of the country’s leading technology hubs, joining the ranks of established urban innovation centers of long standing and internationally recognized as Seattle and Raleigh / Durham. However, we have a long way to go to catch up with Boston and Silicon Valley.
Realizing our full potential will require continuous and highly focused cross-collaboration, from government entities at all levels to the private sector, including the largest companies, universities, entrepreneurs and investors.
Dating back to the heyday of the Richardson Telecommunications Corridor, North Texas has already achieved some global status as a tech-savvy community with strengths in key legacy sectors such as telecommunications, semiconductors, and services. IT, with the potential to continue to expand and develop in emerging and hot areas of technological innovation such as mobility innovation, life sciences / biotechnology and AI.
Today more than ever, technological innovation is driven by the multidimensional collaboration that occurs within carefully designed hyperconnected ecosystems that foster shared business development and technological discovery while enabling both networking opportunities, intentional and accidental mentoring and co-development.
Our North Texas innovation ecosystems create these collaborative conditions that will keep us at the forefront of technology and value creation.
Such carefully cultivated, virtual, hybrid and physically shared spaces allow easy interaction, connectivity and knowledge sharing between like-minded companies and entrepreneurs. Public-private partnerships and institutional partnerships with universities allow for increased combined resources, additional research and development, and a larger pool of much needed technological manpower. All of these are essential to achieve the common goal of a thriving technological innovation center.
A good example, the Richardson Innovation Quarter, at the heart of the historic Telecom Corridor, is a relatively new living lab dedicated to tech start-ups, business research and development, and academic exploration.
Last month, the City of Richardson and UT Dallas announced a partnership that will place five newly established research centers at UT Dallas as well as an expansion of the university’s Venture Development Center in the middle of The IQ. An evolving ecosystem, the 1,200 acres of Richardson IQ also offer a variety of bike paths and trails, numerous dining, shopping and living options as well as on-site access to the DART railway line.
Likewise, the emerging 23-acre Pegasus Park campus, located in the heart of the Dallas Biomedical District, is an anchor for the Dallas Medical District and includes the recent expansion of UT Southwestern’s technology development office. The expansion offers flexible laboratory, training and office spaces focused on promoting entrepreneurial collaboration and signaling the continued commercialization of the medical center’s academic research and discoveries.
Other groups also contribute to the success of North Texas ecosystems like these, providing resources that will keep them sustainable. For example, a recent $ 10 million workforce development grant awarded to Dallas College by the U.S. Department of Labor will focus on creating training programs in cybersecurity, information technology, manufacturing point, robotics and transport. Known as ‘Innovative Strategies – One Workforce’, the grant will train up to 4,000 unemployed, underemployed and transitioning veterinarians to nurture the ecosystem’s workforce pool. innovation from North Texas.
Continued strong engagement from our regional community, academic and business leaders, and their resources, will be essential to foster each innovation ecosystem and the rapid development of a truly transformative technology hub across the region.
Businesses and individuals interested in participating in regional innovation ecosystems should take advantage of well-designed and managed programs within each local ecosystem, such as the Health Wildcatters located in downtown Dallas or the programs at Tech Fort Worth.
Meanwhile, companies should fund the necessary research at universities in our region with help from the Texas Research Alliance, a program of the Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Richardson Chambers of Commerce that I have the honor to preside. And the wealth of tech and business people in North Texas need to offer advice and capital support to emerging entrepreneurs within the ecosystem to leverage their success, like what Mark Cuban did.
Perhaps the key to faster success is the recent passage of the US Competition and Innovation Act in May, which authorizes $ 10 billion to develop 20 cities into competitive technology hubs. Using the collaborative efforts of key players who help drive innovation in our region (local governments, universities, businesses, entrepreneurs and investors) can provide North Texas with the opportunity to showcase its technological resources and compete. for its share of funding. Federal funding played a role in the early days of established tech hubs like Silicon Valley, and with an already thriving tech ecosystem, it could make North Texas a leading tech hub even faster.
With strong momentum at all levels, from policy makers, organizations and individuals with the means and the ideas to make a difference, we know we can put North Texas on the world map as a tremendous hotbed of innovation that changes the world.
William “Bill” C. Sproll is President and CEO of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, Tech Titans, and the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP).
The views and opinions expressed by Voices contributors are their own.
Tech Titans is a partner organization of Dallas Innovates.
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