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Board of Regents approves expansion of STAR One research building

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
February 19, 2015

The Texas State University System Board of Regents has authorized Texas State University to expand the STAR One research building in the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park.

The board, meeting Feb. 19 in Austin, also approved the companion Lab Finish-Out project

The combined projects propose a 16,000-square-foot addition to the existing STAR One building, to include flexible wet lab and office spaces. The proposed labs will support the needs of a broad range of users requiring chemistry, materials and life sciences lab space to advance a business, product or concept. A conference room, large multipurpose room, leasable offices and an open collaborative space are also included.

"Texas State’s STAR Park already has proven to be a very popular destination for new and innovative companies in central Texas, which has led the university to expand its STAR One facility to house more of these clients," said Texas State Provost Gene Bourgeois. "Future economic development in the greater San Marcos area stands to be significantly enhanced by business activity generated at an expanded STAR Park."

Currently, STAR One is a 20,000-square-foot facility of which 14,000 square feet are fully built out and at full occupancy. Active research areas include material sciences (semiconductors, nanomaterials, advanced polymers), life sciences (drug delivery, diagnostics, advanced DNA analysis, medical devices, medical implants), advanced manufacturing (complex design and prototyping, microelectronics, lighting products, robotics), software platforms for a variety of applications and renewable energy.

The remaining 6,000 square feet of shell space will be built out by summer 2015. The newly-approved expansion will potentially allow STAR One research to extend to new fields.

Bill Covington, associate vice president for research and director of federal relations, and Steve Frayser, executive director of STAR Park, will consult academic interests on campus to identify potential discipline-related areas of interest for attracting innovative, budding companies in STAR One and future buildings at STAR Park. Any new areas of exploration must be linked with Texas State's research strengths, including emerging Ph.D. programs.

Future interdisciplinary research opportunities may include:

  • The Internet of Things (materials, analytics, devices and energy)
  • GIS/Geospatial tools (remote sensing, physical and social environment modeling)
  • Computer engineering (systems design, management tools, security)
  • Water and the environment (membranes, sensors, analytical tools)
  • Advance educational tools (distributed learning, virtual learning environments)
  • Textiles design integrating material science and prototyping tools
  • Management tools enabling better healthcare delivery (medical records, inventory, clinical practice devices)
  • Advanced infrastructure materials (new composite concrete and application opportunities)

The expected cost is $8 million for the expansion and $2 million for the lab finish-out. The combined projects will be financed by $10 million in Texas State University System Revenue Financing System Bonds. 


New Polymer and Advanced Materials Laboratory opens at STAR Park

By Mariah Medina
University News Service
March 16, 2015

Texas State University’s Polymer and Advanced Materials Laboratory in the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park is now operational and working with industry partners.

The lab, which facilitates a broad range of polymer projects such as food packaging products, plastic film and storage, is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery that will be available to third-party corporations, students, faculty and staff as a fee-based service.

"You can’t learn how to use commercial machinery through books," Clois Powell, laboratory director, said. "The lab provides hands-on experience with the equipment, which is important to students when searching for jobs."

Texas State offers a bachelor’s degree and a doctoral degree in the field of materials science, engineering and commercialization (MSEC).

With a newly functional lab, graduate students will have the opportunity to conduct commercially important research with commercial-scale equipment. This, however, is just one of the benefits of the lab. The other benefits, Powell said, are the partnerships the university and students forge with third-party companies utilizing STAR Park facilities.

STAR Park is currently partnered with Quantum Materials Corporation, MicroPower and Systems and Materials Corporation, among others. With the introduction of the polymer and advanced materials lab, Tyler Nash, technical operations manager and research associate for STAR Park, said this provides the opportunity for greater collaboration with outside companies.

"The lab is beneficial to students, industry and the university," Nash said. "Typically, we get students involved in these projects, giving benefit to students, and Dr. Powell will be teaching a course this fall allowing students hands on access to the lab."

In addition to working with industry partners and aiding student research, the polymer and advanced materials laboratory technical staff provides training for those requesting permission to utilize the lab.

Training and appropriate qualifications are required before gaining access to the lab’s resources.

The lab is equipped with commercial injection molders, twin-screw extruders, impact testers, a gas barrier meter, a pelletizer and other equipment donated to, or purchased by the university.

The lab’s operational status comes after the Texas State University System Board of Regents authorized a 16,000-square-foot expansion of the STAR One research building.  Expansions to the STAR One building will be complete by summer of 2015.


Wells Fargo gift encourages green technology research at STAR Park

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
October 3, 2014

The Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park at Texas State University has received a $100,000 gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation in support of sustainability and alternative energy research.

The gift was presented Friday to Texas State University President Denise Trauth during the university’s annual Distinguished Alumni gala.

"This generous gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation provides essential startup funding to support new initiatives being launched at Texas State in renewable energy and environmentally sustainable water technologies," said Texas State Provost Gene Bourgeois. "These partnership efforts leveraged through resources at STAR Park will further Texas State's mission of providing research with relevance."

Renewable and green technologies are areas the university is exploring with its research partners, said STAR Park Director Stephen Frayser. The gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation will help further the development of these new technologies.

"Wells Fargo believes that, as a company and as a member of the community, it’s our responsibility to help protect and restore the environment. We embrace that responsibility in all we do," said Mark Curry, Wells Fargo Community Banking president for Austin. "In 2012, we created the Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation grant program as part of our effort to donate $100 million for environmental projects across the nation by 2020. Texas State University’s STAR Park is a terrific fit for our program, as it supports and fosters the development of new and emerging clean technologies that can positive impact us all."

The 58-acre STAR Park is a collaborative effort of Texas State and research partners serving as a catalyst for continued public/private development of new or improved technologies. Anchored by the STAR One technology business incubator, STAR Park is currently home to five new and emerging technology companies, a soon-to-be-opened advanced polymers and nanomaterials center, Texas State's Small Business Development Center and the Office of Commercialization and Industry Relations.


PETAOMICS JOINS STAR PARK

PetaOmics

PetaOmics, Inc. is a life sciences firm focused on functional genomics, epigenomics, and DNA methylation sequencing. The company is developing innovative approaches that facilitate the epigenetic analysis of human cells, which are applicable to all human cell types. The company will commercialize reagent kits designed to enable ground-breaking experiments in genomics and epigenomics. Some of the new research approaches enabled by PetaOmics kits and related technologies will facilitate the study, from an epigenetic standpoint, of chronic, complex diseases such as autoimmunity and the metabolic syndrome. Information generated using PetaOmics technologies will be of value for biomedical research, pharmaceutical drug discovery, and development of diagnostic tests.

Prior to founding PetaOmics, Dr. Paul Lizardi was a Professor of Pathology at Yale University. He is the primary inventor named on 25 issued patents which collectively have been licensed to over 80 commercial entities. In the year 2006 Dr. Lizardi was named by the Journal Nature Biotechnology in their short list of the 75 most influential scientists in life science technology development.

For addtional information contact Dr. Brent Ferguson at brent.ferguson@petaomics.com



Unique University - Industry Partnership to Spur Tetrapod Quantum Dot Commercialization

Quantum Researchers at Texas State University
San Marcos, TX (October 2, 2013) – Quantum Materials Corporation (OTCQB:QTMM) today announced it has entered into an MOU and University – Industry Partnership Agreement with Texas State University (TSU)in San Marcos, Texas, a short distance from Quantum Materials Corp headquarters at STAR Park.
 
Stephen Squires, Quantum Materials Corp Founder and CEO said, “Texas State is an extraordinary partner for joint nanotechnology and biotech research and will expand the knowledge and acceptance of tetrapod quantum dots while at the same time finding new uses in the form of marketable products.”
 
Stephen Frayser, Executive Director of STAR Park stated, "This university-industry agreement between Quantum Materials Corp. and Texas State University is a prime example of the type of collaboration STAR Park facilitates by providing incubator companies partnering opportunities with Texas State's specialized university programs, facilities and faculty resources which will accelerate delivery of new technologies to the market."
 
Texas State’s Advanced Functional Materials Laboratory, outfitted with state-of-the-art characterization and analysis equipment will assist Quantum Materials’ nearby Wet Labs in special projects designed to produce department scientific papers advancing tetrapod quantum dot research. The University -Industry partnership, strong programs and excellent facilities expand the research capabilities of Quantum Materials and will aid its efforts to successfully produce and market quantum dots products.
 
David Doderer, QMC VP for R&D added, “Quantum Materials will provide sponsored research, industry training, employment, and aid course development through the partnership. The university’s interdisciplinary approach and commercialization component goals ensure complete discussion on each topic area resulting in productive ideas and actions for research. It is a pleasure to work with TSU.”
 
Quantum Materials manufactures both Cadmium-based and Non-Heavy-Metal (Cadmium-Free) Tetrapod Quantum Dots. Colloidal Tetrapod QD are tetrahedrally symmetric nanocrystals with wurtzite arms exhibiting bright and narrow emission, uniquely capable of dual emissions from one energy source and also singularly unique as micromechanical stress gauges measurable by color shifting of their energy gap when bending under strain.
 
TSU is one of eight Texas Emerging Research Universities and uses an interdisciplinary research focus combining the university’s biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, engineering, engineering technology and business school programs. A Doctoral program in Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization teaches and trains candidates to be effective innovators and entrepreneurs with 21st Century skills. The program uses nearby STAR Park businesses to assist and teach commercialization of nanotech and biotech products by giving relevant business purposes to university research. 
 
QUANTUM MATERIALS CORPORATION, INC has a steadfast vision that advanced technology is the solution to global issues related to cost, efficiency and increasing energy usage. Quantum dot semiconductors enable a new level of performance in a wide array of established consumer and industrial products, including low power lighting and displays and biomedical diagnostic applications. QMC’s volume manufacturing methods enables cost reductions moving laboratory discovery to commercialization. (http://www.qmcdots.com)
 
Safe Harbor statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning our business, products, and financial results. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted. More information about potential risk factors that could affect our business, products, and financial results are included in our annual report and in reports subsequently filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). All documents are available through the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval System (EDGAR) at http://www.sec.gov/ or from our website. We hereby disclaim any obligation to publicly update the information provided above, including forward-looking statements, to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
  
Contact:
Art Lamstein
Quantum Materials Corporation
 
Media:
Rich Schineller
941.780.8100
rich@prmgt.com

STAR Center awarded EDA grant to support materials, life sciences

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
December 4, 2013

Texas State University's STAR Center for Materials and Life Sciences has been awarded $300,000 by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced grant Nov. 27 as part of the Economic Development Administration's (EDA) $2.4 million in grants to support economic development projects in Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas. The projects are expected bolster job creation and spur stable and sustainable economies, according to grantee estimates.

“The Obama administration is committed to investing in higher education and fostering innovation,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA grants announced today support regional economic competitiveness and job creation in Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas.”

The $300,000 designated to Texas State will work to strengthen materials and life sciences clusters by expanding capacity for industry interaction at the university, creating critical support services to grow an effective innovation environment, increasing support for student entrepreneurship activities, increasing participation in programs by underserved populations and increasing awareness of programs to support startup/early stage companies to the Austin region.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


SMRC at STAR One


MicroPower Global Takes Its Place at STAR One

 
Texas State University’ first building at its new off-campus Science, Technology and Advanced Research Park, welcomes MicroPower Global.
 
MicroPower will have use of approximately 3,500 square feet of dedicated and shared space at the 20,000 square foot STAR One facility, with the potential to expand, including sufficient office and administrative space. This will enable the company to move seamlessly into early production at a facility specifically designed for its initial manufacturing needs.
 
While all of MicroPower’s production staff will be based at STAR One, the company will maintain a development team at the University’s Material Science faculty a few miles away to continue the enhancement of its thermoelectric chip technology at the same time as the production team work to fulfil early orders.
 
To complete the final product development phase successfully, MicroPower first partnered with Texas State University in 2009. This has enabled the company to accelerate the development and commercialization of its cutting-edge thermoelectric technology. The relationship now enters a new phase, with the outlook positive for both parties.
 
“Having spent three years working hard to complete the development work and build prototypes, the company is now entering an exciting phase, with demand for our energy conversion technology across a wide number of industries,” said Max Lewinsohn, MicroPower’s Chairman.
 
“We were attracted to the idea of occupying the STAR Park facility from day one,” he revealed. “It offers us the opportunity to move into an early production environment that perfectly matches our needs as an emerging clean technology company.”
“Texas State’s relationship with MicroPower is an outstanding example of how a university and a company can work together to the benefit of both,” added Bill Covington, Chief Research Officer for Texas State.
 
About MicroPower
MicroPower Global Limited is a private company which has developed the next generation of thermoelectric devices for use in the areas of energy conservation, energy harvesting and refrigeration. The new MicroPower semiconductors (“chips”) can efficiently and cost-effectively convert heat, including waste heat, directly into electricity, leading to significant energy savings in a number of industrial and military applications.
A MicroPower chip combines standard thermoelectric and thermionic principles in a novel way to deliver breakthrough levels of efficiency. The original discovery was made in 2000 and good progress on developing the technology was made over a number of years before MicroPower acquired the IP in 2008 and the prospect of commercial products became a reality, with recent work enabling significantly greater efficiency, a broader temperature range and a low cost manufacturing process.
The ability to harvest heat at temperatures ranging from 200°C to 600°C will make MicroPower chips the new thermoelectric standard for waste heat recovery. The current thermoelectric market is relatively small at approximately $300 million annually but MicroPower will be able to open up already identified new global markets worth approximately $80 billion annually. Its cutting-edge technology has been patented internationally and independently verified.
MicroPower first formed a working partnership with Texas State University in 2009 to develop prototype chips at the university’s Multifunctional Materials Laboratory building in San Marcos. Commercial production of chips and the delivery of first products will commence in 2013.
For further information, visit our website at www.micropower-global.com

 

Texas State officially opens first
STAR Park research facility
Texas State President Denise Trauth, Provost Gene Bourgeois, STAR Park Executive Director Stephen Frayser, as well as Senator Judith Zaffirini and area dignitaries were on hand for the event.
Texas State’s first incubator building, STAR One officially opened it doors November 9, 2012. Dedicated to the University’s research and commercialization efforts, STAR One, a 20,000-square-foot facility, will serve as a technology incubator/accelerator for start-up and early-stage businesses, and will provide companies access to secure wet labs, clean space, conference room, office space and other university-provided services.
For more information on STAR One availability please contact Mr. Stephen Frayser at 512-245-6463 

WELLS FARGO FOUNDATION GIFTS STAR PARK IN SUPPORT of SUSTAINABLE & ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESEARCH

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
October 3, 2014

The Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park at Texas State University has received a $100,000 gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation in support of sustainability and alternative energy research.

The gift was presented Friday to Texas State University President Denise Trauth during the university’s annual Distinguished Alumni gala.

"This generous gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation provides essential startup funding to support new initiatives being launched at Texas State in renewable energy and environmentally sustainable water technologies," said Texas State Provost Gene Bourgeois. "These partnership efforts leveraged through resources at STAR Park will further Texas State's mission of providing research with relevance."

Renewable and green technologies are areas the university is exploring with its research partners, said STAR Park Director Stephen Frayser. The gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation will help further the development of these new technologies.

"Wells Fargo believes that, as a company and as a member of the community, it’s our responsibility to help protect and restore the environment. We embrace that responsibility in all we do," said Mark Curry, Wells Fargo Community Banking president for Austin. "In 2012, we created the Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation grant program as part of our effort to donate $100 million for environmental projects across the nation by 2020. Texas State University’s STAR Park is a terrific fit for our program, as it supports and fosters the development of new and emerging clean technologies that can positive impact us all."

The 58-acre STAR Park is a collaborative effort of Texas State and research partners serving as a catalyst for continued public/private development of new or improved technologies. Anchored by the STAR One technology business incubator, STAR Park is currently home to five new and emerging technology companies, a soon-to-be-opened advanced polymers and nanomaterials center, Texas State's Small Business Development Center and the Office of Commercialization and Industry Relations.


STAR  Park Expansion ProjectsSTAR Park Expansion

The Science,Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR)Park received authorization for expansion projects from the Board of Regents on August 29, 2014. These projects include the purchase of a 20 acre track adjacent to the 38 acre site currently occupied by STAR One and a two phase building expansion.  In Phase I the remainder of STAR One will be built out to house three new Life Science labs,  three new Chemistry/Materials Science labs, and the new Polymer and Nanomaterials lab. Phase II will be a building addition of approximately 16,000 square feet. Currently in the design stage is a mulit-functional meeting space, additional labs, and office spaces. Phase I is expected to be completed by Summer 2015 and Phase II should be ready for occupancy in 2016.

Companies currently working out of STAR One include Micropower-Global, National Nanomaterials, Quantum Materials, PetaOmics, and SMRC. A number of Texas State graduates and interns are employed by these companies.

STAR One was originally envisioned to continue to grow as more tenants became interested with partnering with the university, and the park continues to progress with collaborative research.

With now 58.28 acres, the park itself is small compared to other established research parks, but the expansion places the university in the stategic position  to supply the growing need for space and resources required by Start Up companies and researchers .

"This is a huge step by the university by publicly stating they're committed to advancing the research premise at Texas State," Stephen Frayser, Executive Director commented. 

Research at STAR Park


Discover STAR Park Video


Texas State Collaborates with MicroPower to Develop "Green Energy" Technologies


Interview with STAR Park Executive Director, Mr. Stephen Frayser

STAR PARK Executive Director

Stephen Frayser came to Texas State on November 5, 2012, just four days before the university opened STAR One, the first building in a 38-acre research park about five miles from the main campus. STAR One is a 20,000-square-foot facility that will serve as a technology incubator for early stage businesses and as collaboration space for joint research and development with industry.

Although Frayser is new to Texas, he is a veteran research park manager. He came to San Marcos from the Nebraska Technology Park, where he had served as president since 2003. During his tenure, 2,400 jobs were created or retained, more than 300,000 square feet of new facilities were built and more than $68 million in new capital investments were made.

Frayser recently sat down in the newly completed STAR One building to answer some questions about Texas State’s new research park.

What are the goals for the STAR Park?
A research park creates an environment that fosters commercialization and entrepreneurship. We've got a long- range view of the world. Our goal is to create new opportunities and new companies. We want to see the university more engaged in these activities that are added to its traditional mission of research and education.

What is the focus for STAR One?
STAR One is both a business incubator and a collaboration space. Phase I of the building is focused on materials sciences. Our initial facilities are built as chemical labs, clean rooms and supporting service areas.

What kind of resources do you offer STAR Park partners?
 The Austin–San Antonio region has a current shortage of laboratory space for early stage companies and collaborative efforts. We are partially addressing that need; however, as an incubator the facility is only part of the picture. We will also provide firms with access to business mentors, specialized service providers, sources of capital, specialized instruments and equipment as well as our faculty and students. Less tangible but very real is the benefit of being identified as a resident of a technology incubator located in a university-affiliated research park.

What type of partners are you looking for?
We’re looking for high growth opportunity companies that can create scalable companies, higher skill job opportunities and higher wages. Creating a research park and business incubator is one important strategy for growing and diversifying a region’s economy while providing exciting career opportunities for our graduates.

We can also act as a place for a mature company or outside organization to interact with the University on joint R&D activities. By having access to our specialized research centers and faculty, companies are able to develop new products or processes in a timely and cost effective manner. Most small to midsized firms lack sophisticated equipment and instruments dedicated to R&D, which constrains their ability to compete in an innovation-driven economy.

When will additional buildings be added to the park?
Realistically it's going to be three years before we build the next building. We are engaged in a long-term change process. While STAR Park has a real estate component it is not driven by the need to obtain a short-term gain on a real estate investment. Over time, we will generate a critical mass of firms engaged in technology-focused activities who will become the next generation of companies occupying multi-tenant or even single tenant facilities.

Why did you decide to come to Texas State?
Texas State University is an institution that is experiencing rapid growth. Change is a part of the culture that creates new opportunities to explore alternative approaches to accomplishing our mission. Being located in the Austin Metropolitan Area and adjacent to San Antonio we have an area of approximately 3.5 million people. Both cities continue to be ranked among the top 10 in the nation for growth, which translates into greater access to skilled labor, suppliers, business resources and an enriched quality of life.

How do you see events unfolding here at the STAR Park?
It is often discussed that universities are going to be the engines that drive regional economies. The important thing to understand is that a university is part of an environment. The areas that are going to succeed in the future will be those with access to institutions of higher education that understand a cross-disciplinary approach to educating our future workforce is essential. With the new Ph.D. program in material science, engineering and commercialization, Texas State University is moving in that direction. We are training the future managers and entrepreneurs who will bring new products and processes to the market by translating basic research into relevant applications.