Selected participants will get to know the economic ecosystem of Central Texas during a week of visits through the cities of San Antonio, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, San Marcos, College Station, and Austin.
College Station is located in the heart of the Texas Triangle – a megaregion with five of the 20 most populated cities in the U.S. and home to more than 13.8 million Texans. With 109,000 in population and counting, College Station has experienced double-digit growth in median household income and population since 2009. Known as the home of Texas A&M University, the largest university in Texas and flagship campus of the Texas A&M University System, College Station is also home to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and Disaster City, a 52-acre training facility for emergency response professionals from around the world. College Station’s well-educated workforce and numerous research- and innovation-based organizations have bolstered a strong and vibrant economy centered on government-university relationships and technology innovation.
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Federally Funded Projects
Participants will take part in a tour of Disaster City, a mock community featuring full-scale, collapsible structures designed to simulate various levels of disaster and wreckage. Managed by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), the site attracts thousands of emergency responders from around the world. TEEX also offers a variety of training courses on topics such as cybersecurity, rescue, law enforcement, and oil spill response. More than 160,000 people from 80 countries train with TEEX each year.
Participants will visit Kyle Field, the Texas A&M University football stadium and fifth-largest sporting venue in the country, and learn about the Texas A&M University System – one of the nation’s largest systems of higher education with a budget of $4.2 billion. With more than 66,000 students enrolled at its flagship campus in College Station and 436,000 former students worldwide, Texas A&M also maintains many collaborative partnerships in international locations such as Qatar, Mexico and Costa Rica.
Recognized as a top research university nationwide, participants will learn about many of the Texas A&M facilities and programs that employ innovative technologies.
Participants will visit the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM), which provides technical training and programs for the biopharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing workforce, as well as bioprocess development services. NCTM was established in 2009 with the support of the State of Texas Emerging Technology Fund and offers 152,000 square feet of workforce development and biomanufacturing space.
In conjunction with NCTM, participants will hear about innovations in vaccine development from representatives of the Pandemic Influenza and Live Virus vaccine facilities. Beyond the manufacture of seasonal vaccines, these facilities will work to actively develop vaccines towards pandemic influenza strains that can be manufactured in large quantities, producing up to 50 million vaccine doses within four months of notification from the federal government.
Participants will also hear from representatives of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the state’s premier research agency in agriculture, natural resources, and life sciences. While maintaining a traditional connection to farming and ranching through the study of pressing agricultural issues such as plant diseases and animal parasites, AgriLife Research is also developing crops with enhanced nutrition, studying renewable energy sources, and implementing new methods to improve air and water quality. The agency’s work is global in scale and supported by international partners such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Pan American Health Organization.
Participants will also learn about the Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS), which facilitates the inclusion of animals with naturally occurring disease as viable research models. TIPS provides unique opportunities to develop new therapeutics in the fields of oncology, cardiology, immunology, endocrinology, and an array of genetic disorders common to humans and animals.