New Center to Offer Help to New Businesses

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It is the culmination of about two years hard work. Monday morning, a new science and technology center opened its doors in the Brazos Valley.

The Research Valley Innovation Center was unveiled at the Research Valley Partnership, and officials say it will serve as an incubator geared at supporting new companies as they move their ideas into the marketplace.

"We try to align them with people and resources that will help whether its attorneys, service providers, consultants. Maybe we'll help put together a marketing plan and hook them up with some distribution companies that will help them go to market," said James Lancaster, the General Manager for the new center.

Officials say they will be working with technology-oriented companies including engineering, part engineering, and energy-related companies.

The center is unique to the Brazos Valley and will offer the early stage companies guidance from multiple Texas A&M resources and critical partners such as the Texas A&M Office of the Vice President for Research, the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and the A&M System's Office of Technology Commercialization.

"In theory, what we're trying to do is grow our own businesses," Todd McDaniel with the Research Valley Partnership said. "The theory is there is a pipeline in economic development, and unlike a lot of communities, we're very blessed to have the infrastructure and intellectual capital here to grow our own businesses.

Officials at Monday's announcement said there is a critical need for the center to help better equip young businesses to develop and stay in the Brazos Valley.

"As we were working through the process and identifying our strategic priorities, we recognized we're one of only a couple of communities around the U.S. with a major research institution and its core infrastructure, the Texas A&M University System, that doesn't have a science and technology business incubator, and so we began the process of working with our partners," McDaniel said.

For now, the innovation center will be housed at the current address of the Research Valley Partnership. However, officials say they hope to expand to a new location in the future.