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Texas Higher Education Foundation – Tech Transfer and Commercialization Plan


In addition to producing the talent the economy relies on, innovation born out of Texas higher education institutions plays an essential role in the state’s global economic competitiveness. State leaders have made significant investments in this area, nearly tripling the number of top tier research universities in the past decade—those defined as R1 universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education—from 4 to 11. Nine of these universities are public institutions, the highest number among all 50 states. However, a more consistent and coordinated approach to support commercialization across its many colleges and universities is needed for Texas to better leverage the full potential of its higher education research, development, and innovation assets.


In early 2023, TIP Strategies was engaged by the Texas Higher Education Foundation (THEF), the official nonprofit partner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, to analyze the current state of technology transfer and commercialization in Texas. More than 400 individuals were engaged in the planning process through surveys, roundtables, and interviews, including representatives from the public and private sector in Texas and across the country. TIP also conducted an extensive analysis of Texas’ performance across a variety of innovation measures and reviewed promising practices from technology transfer offices and innovation networks in benchmark states. The resulting report, From Insights to Impact: Fostering Innovation Through Texas Higher Education, provided recommendations in three goal areas: (1) strengthening technology transfer support structures and processes at higher education institutions; (2) bolstering regional innovation ecosystems across the state; and (3) addressing the foundational supports needed for success. The study was presented to more than 400 policymakers and leaders in higher education, business, and philanthropy at the Texas Higher EDge conference in December 2023. A separate technical appendix included detailed strategies and actions for implementing the three goals and profiles resulting from a qualitative analysis of institutional practices in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio.

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