As Texas A&M Innovation looks forward to 2024, reflecting on the past year is a reminder of what we accomplished in 2023. The Chief Innovation Officer, Pete ONeill, shares that the team has taken significant steps towards establishing a foundation for future progress. “We still have a lot of work and improvement we need to do, but I’m proud of our team and excited for the trajectory of progress we’ve established”.
In March 2023, Texas A&M Innovation was formed by merging five teams from across The Texas A&M University System. During their first meeting, the team discussed the potential for Texas A&M System to be a world-class catalyst for delivering innovative solutions, and the vital role that the Innovation team would play in achieving their commercialization goals.
The newly formed team’s focus in 2023 was on improving service to “customers” [inventors]. “We have presented at dozens of department meetings, created a new website with easier access to the invention disclosure forms, hosted networking events, initiated our inventor education series, and launched our monthly newsletter,” ONeill shared. “All these efforts were aimed at increasing engagement and service with our inventors.”
Janie Hurley, a 26-year veteran of working with inventors at The Texas A&M University System, is optimistic about what the new structure means for commercialization across the Texas A&M System. “For years we worked in silos, now we are all working together toward our shared goal of enabling commercialization of Texas A&M System technologies. We have more resources and more expertise to deliver the best service to our inventors.”
“Each year, Texas A&M spends over $1 billion on research, the first university in Texas to reach this milestone. On its own, research does not benefit our daily lives; it simply fills research journals that very few people read. To truly make an impact, the research must be implemented in daily commerce,” said Mark Holtzapple, one of the most prolific inventors in the history of Texas A&M. “Towards this end, I am pleased that in 2023 we formed Texas A&M Innovation, a world-class team that shepherds our nascent technologies through the challenging commercialization process. I’m excited for our future.“
Looking forward to 2024, ONeill has guarded optimism. The Texas A&M Innovation team plans to continue improving service to their inventors in many ways, including an inventor survey planned for this spring. The team will focus on delivering results of more invention disclosures, more patents, and more deals. They will also focus on improving support for startup companies based on Texas A&M System technology and making those companies as strong as possible to give them the best chance for success. ONeill is confident that the team will make great progress in 2024 towards their ultimate goal of Texas A&M Innovation being recognized as delivering world-class results.
Texas A&M Innovation promotes an innovative and entrepreneurial culture among A&M’s research community and uses a rigorous process to guide projects from new innovations through market commercialization. We encourage industry partnerships, support startups and entrepreneurial commercialization, make connections to mentors, funding, and other critical resources to accelerate commercialization of System IP. Through our work we strive to promote regional economic development, and ultimately impact the lives of people locally, nationally and globally.