Innovation drives the majority of economic growth, and robust innovation ecosystems are the systematic way to ensure innovation at the scale of a region.
The Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities assists regions in architecting and implementing robust innovation systems, employing the same principles driving the success of world-leading “technopolis” regions such as Silicon Valley, Boston, Tel Aviv, London – and Austin, Texas.
Accelerating Global Competitiveness
Competitiveness derives not from being the cheapest place to do business, but by being the most productive. Today, the most competitive regions maximize their productivity by rapidly translating new knowledge and ideas into new goods and services, then rapidly scaling to national or global markets.
TFIC created a comprehensive reference model that helps analyze and visualize the critical dimensions of regional innovation: quality, quantity and velocity.
The model describes the key elements of high-performance innovation ecosystems, from research labs to entrepreneurial ventures to the global reach of major industry. However, the key resources change character from stage-to-stage, and even from industry to industry.
Expanding Innovative Capacity
TFIC develops real-world projects for ecosystem development and enhancing ecosystem resources. Recent projects include the launch of MassChallenge Texas, which will soon become the world’s largest tech accelerator, launching 384 companies from around the Texas Triangle; Texas SBIR/STTR network, increasing Texas SBIR/STTR share by 30% in less than 18 months; creation and management of the Texas Association of Research Parks and Incubators (TARPI); and creation of numerous tools and methodologies for accelerating Texas research funding and company growth.
Creating Replicable Success
In general, models adapted from other regions do not often transplant well, but the principles are universal.
The mission of the Foundation stems from the work of Dr. George Kozmetsky, co-founder of Teledyne and former Dean of the UT College of Business, most often credited as the architect of the Austin “technopolis”. Our Chair, Pike Powers, worked with Dr. Kozmetsky to bring MCC and Sematech to Austin, and create most of the entrepreneurial infrastructure that is now in its 3rd or 4th generation.
As a result, Austin is one of the nation’s premier innovation ecosystem success stories, balancing high-growth with high quality-of-place. Now, we work to sharpen and compress that 40-year success story into tools that can be used to achieve that success in a fraction of the time.
We assist regions worldwide, with a special emphasis on Texas. Most often, TFIC assists communities for cost-recovery only or without fee.