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Secretary Pablos Hosts First NASA Innovation Day

"I am highly encouraged by the partnerships we are developing today to keep Texas the home of innovation and continue to expand our state's economy across a variety of sectors"

April 10, 2018
Contact: Sam Taylor

Secretary Pablos is stadning at a podium addressing the audience.
Secretary Pablos welcomes representatives from
NASA's Johnson Space Center to the Texas Capitol.

Secretary Pablos posing with others at the Austin Capitol Factory.
Secretary Pablos tours Austin's Capital Factory with
the delegation from NASA's Johnson Space Center.

Speaker is presenting to a classroom.
Secretary Pablos and the NASA delegation meet
with researchers at the University of Texas at
Austin's J.J. Pickle Research Campus. .

AUSTIN, TX – Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today hosted the first-ever NASA Innovation Day, bringing together leaders from NASA's Johnson Space Center, state agencies, the Texas Legislature, the University of Texas at Austin, economic development organizations, and the private sector to expand and develop partnerships in science and technology innovation to stimulate economic growth across the Lone Star State. 

The day-long program, organized by the Texas Secretary of State's office, began with a series of presentations at the Texas Capitol from a delegation of key officials at NASA's Johnson Space Center to the Texas Legislature, state agencies, chambers of commerce and trade, and regional economic development organizations. The NASA delegation then met with private sector entrepreneurs and participated in a roundtable discussion at Austin's Capital Factory before touring the University of Texas at Austin's J.J. Pickle Research Campus and discussing innovative research with leaders in academia. Secretary Pablos expressed his sincere appreciation to all participants for helping make the first NASA Innovation Day a success, as well as his desire to continue engaging all stakeholders in forming new partnerships in technological innovation throughout the State of Texas.

"Texas stands apart from the rest of the nation because we encourage our entrepreneurs and leaders in science, technology, and industry to think bigger," Secretary Pablos said. "Today was an incredible testament to the talent we have in the Lone Star State, and I am highly encouraged by the partnerships we are developing today to keep Texas the home of innovation and continue to expand our state's economy across a variety of sectors. I would like to thank our partners at NASA's Johnson Space Center, as well as the Capital Factory and the University of Texas at Austin for making today's program a success."

"We look forward to creating partnerships that accelerate NASA innovation as we prepare for human expeditions to the Moon and on to Mars," Vanessa Wyche, Director of Exploration Integration & Science Directorate at NASA, said. "We especially appreciate the chance to foster university and industry relationships, engaging the best and brightest in our home state of Texas."

“Today’s event shows that Texas is taking strides to bring government, innovation and entrepreneurs together in an effort to keep Texas at the forefront of technology and innovation,” Capital Factory Chief Operating Officer Georgia Thomsen said.

"Capital Factory is the center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas and connects them to their first investors and customers. Who could be a better pilot customer than NASA?” Capital Factory Managing Director of Corporate Development Chris Gillian said. “Linking innovative startup companies with NASA will help the startups gain a reference-able customer, and will give NASA access to cutting edge technologies being developed in real-time by some of Texas’ leading entrepreneurs."

"Developing key technological partnerships is critical for enabling broader market transformation and societal betterment," Dr. Varun Rai, Associate Dean for Research at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs, said. "By bringing together NASA and UT, two of the most innovative institutions in the world, this event has sown the seeds of a potentially transformative partnership. I thank Secretary Pablos and his office for helping us come together."

"Today, sustained innovation is accelerated by effective industry, university, and government interactions," Dr. Robert Hebner, Director of Center for Electromechanics at the University of Texas, said. "The research centers at UT’s J. J. Pickle Research Center are key contributors to technical innovation for Texas and the nation. We expect to leverage NASA involvement with UT and with our industrial partners to help change the world for the better while educating the next generation of innovators. This is why it is exciting and challenging  to come to work every day.”

Learn more about partnership opportunities with NASA's Johnson Space Center.

Learn more about opportunities for entrepreneurs at Austin's Capital Factory.

Learn more about cutting-edge research at UT Austin's J.J. Pickle Research Campus.