The Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has been designated as a U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center for the second time.
“The Innovation Center has provided value to our community by enabling clients to produce more than $4.6 million in gross revenues just in 2012,” said Dr. John Gamble, Dean of the College of Business. “The center includes cutting-edge companies like “Hydro Enviro Clean,” that recycles fracking water; “InnerGeo,” which generates renewable energy; and “Scorgolf,” a business that has engineered and patented a new type of golf club.”
As part of this federal designation, the Innovation Center will receive $102,590 per year over the next five years. Seventy percent of this grant will be used to focus on cultivating innovation, while 30 percent will go to support regional commercialization efforts. Bill Cone, Director of the Innovation Center, says this grant will allow the center to help this region grow household incomes to close the gap between our area and the rest of Texas and the nation.
“We are committed to activities that will concentrate much of our efforts on the creation of high-paying jobs and economic diversification,” said Cone. “Creating better jobs helps us to keep some of our young, highly-educated talent in this region as opposed to losing them to larger metro centers.”
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi established the Innovation Center in 2009 to promote higher education, research, commercialization, and economic development. Supported by the University’s College of Business, the Innovation Center supports the successful development of innovative companies through an array of support resources and services. Research shows that by participating in this type of program, new businesses are twice as likely to succeed.
Since its inception the Center has created more than 400 full and part-time jobs, generates over $2.7 million dollars in annual salaries, and has helped to build over 50 new companies.
“All of this supports higher household incomes for our future,” said Cone. “A more diverse economy better prepares us for inevitable cyclical swings in energy, tourism, and agriculture.”
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Innovation Center have many assets, such as faculty, staff, research laboratories, and computer systems, which can help to address and expand upon local economic opportunities. With funding from EDA, the CBBIC can provide continued assistance to innovative entrepreneurs with the goal of enhancing local economic development.
“We have assisted over 100 businesses in 14 different industries and more than 50 of those continue on their path to success,” said David Fonseca, Innovation Center Manager. “Helping entrepreneurs make their dreams come true, while they create jobs and wealth in our community, makes what we are doing really matter.”