Media Contact: Alex Lyda;
For immediate release — May 11, 2023
(DALLAS) — Logistics play a vital role in the North Texas economy, and now Dallas College, Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Arlington are among a network of 26 other participating organizations in the region that have been awarded $1 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines program.
The consortium, led by the University of North Texas, is called the Texoma Innovation Engine and is among the more than 40 unique teams from across the nation selected to receive one of the first-ever NSF Engines Development Awards, which aim to help partners collaborate to create economic, societal and technological opportunities in their respective regions.
The Texoma Innovation Engine will work with the logistics community in North Texas and Oklahoma through research hubs located in disadvantaged areas, while translating emerging technologies into innovative systems, practice and workforce development programs. These hubs will conceptualize new products and services, incubate startups and facilitate commercialization, according to terms of the NSF award.
The Texoma engine is a collaborative network of universities, colleges, schools, public agencies, industries, and economic and workforce development agencies that include:
- The Texas Research Alliance
- The Dallas Regional Chamber
- DFW International Airport
- Hillwood Properties
- Texas Transportation Association (TXTA)
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Southern Dallas County Inland Port Transportation Management Association
- Southern Oklahoma Development Association (SODA)
Dallas College’s School of Engineering, Technology, Mathematics and Sciences and the School of Manufacturing and Industrial Technology will work with UNT’s G. Brint Ryan College of Business and College of Engineering to advance the logistics industry as an economic driver in the Texoma Region through research, logistics innovation and expediting laboratory-to-market technology transfer.
“Our role in this planning grant is to increase awareness, gain understanding of the industry, benchmark other programs across the country and help guide the development for the next phase,” said Robin Donovan, senior director in the Division of Sponsored Programs at Dallas College. “Ultimately, the work is expected to spur logistics innovations that ensure long-term resiliency and agility in the areas of automation, cybersecurity, electrification and workforce development.”
As part of the of the grant, Dallas College will host workshops for higher education faculty and students, including one workshop per semester in each topic area — automation, cybersecurity, electrification and workforce development — to encourage an exchange of innovation on emerging technologies and to promote awareness of and interest in education and career pathways in the target fields, for a total of 16 workshops over the total two-year project period.
“These NSF Engines Development Awards lay the foundation for emerging hubs of innovation and potential future NSF Engines,” NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. “These awardees are part of the fabric of NSF’s vision to create opportunities everywhere and enable innovation anywhere. They will build robust regional partnerships rooted in scientific and technological innovation in every part of our nation.”
The NSF engine awardees span a broad range of states and regions, reaching geographic areas that have not fully benefited from the technology boom of the past decades. These NSF Engines Development Awards will help organizations create connections and develop their local innovation ecosystems within two years to prepare strong proposals for becoming future NSF Engines, which will each have the opportunity to receive up to $160 million.
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