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Texas is Big on Economic Growth - and Has the Numbers to Prove It

Apr/May 10
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In March 2010, Texas awarded $1.8 million from TETF to 1st Detect Corp. in Austin for the development and commercialization of a portable mass spectrometer for identifying residues and vapors from harmful substances. Wide-ranging applications include detecting explosives, chemical warfare agents, toxic chemicals, and volatile organic compounds in industries such as defense, security, healthcare, and manufacturing. The company is also collaborating with University of North Texas and Baylor College of Medicine to design and test a next-generation medical diagnostic device.

"With this investment from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, we will be able to continue developing a technology that has the potential to make a great impact on the safety of our troops and our nation," states 1st Detect Corp.'s CEO John Porter. "This technology has the potential to greatly enhance the ability of law enforcement and the military to detect chemical and explosive threats by increasing the accuracy of chemical detection by orders of magnitude."

"We understand that high-tech companies don't just happen overnight but are a product of forethought, sound vision and planning, and strategic investments by both the public and private sectors," adds Texas Governor Rick Perry. "Through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund we are bringing the best scientists and researchers to Texas, attracting high-tech jobs, and helping start-up companies get off the ground faster."

Other important legislation passed includes $100 million in private activity bond volume cap for economic development projects, $51 million for the Skills Development Fund to provide customized job training, and $145 million in various grants to 16,000 more students to afford college, creating more highly educated future workers.

Industry Clusters
With the urging of Governor Perry, the 78th Texas legislature passed SB 275: legislation focused on developing long-term strategies for strengthening the global competitiveness of the state's key industry clusters, including advanced technology and manufacturing, aerospace and defense, biotech and life sciences, information and computer technology, and energy.

• Advanced Manufacturing - Advanced technology and manufacturing consists of three important sectors: nanotechnology, semiconductors, and automotive manufacturing.

Some of the biggest semiconductor companies in the world have large operations in Texas. Austin alone is home to nearly 100 semiconductor-related companies, as well as research consortia MCC and SEMATECH. Related R&D is carried out at Texas universities and research facilities; for example, the University of Texas-Dallas just purchased an atomic-resolution transmission electron microscope to advance its role as a major player in the development of next-generation semiconductor devices.

But it's not just international, billion-dollar companies that attract the state's attention. Through the Texas Enterprise Fund, Texas will invest $300,000 in SIPCO to open a manufacturing facility in Cuero. The investment will create more than 100 jobs for Texans and more than $6 million in capital investment for this rural community. SIPCO produces custom-engineered, high-precision gear products for motion control, power transmission equipment, and hydraulic systems for various industries.

"SIPCO looked for a community with access to a wealth of resources essential for attaining our goals of providing customers with a quality stream of supply," says SIPCO Mechanical Linkage Solutions CEO Raul A. Martinez. "In doing so, we found the city of Cuero in Dewitt County, whose populace is diverse, talented, and resourceful. The Texas Enterprise Fund played a significant role and was a determining factor in our decision to locate our manufacturing expansion to Texas."