State tech fund awards $3M to biotech center

Sep 16, 2013

The Texas Emerging Technology Fund is investing $3 million in the Houston-based Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology

The new center, which is a collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will study chronic disease for both human and veterinary health care, based on cell and organ failure, state officials said

The ETF, established in 2005 to seed-fund Texas technology startups, has slowed its investment activity in recent years following allegations of mismanagement and political influence. This year, the ETF had previously awarded grants worth an aggregate $6.3 million

During 2012, the fund awarded seven commercialization grants worth a combined $10.3 million; in 2011, it awarded just two grants worth a combined $3.5 million versus 31 grants in 2010 and 41 in 2009

In May, the Texas Legislature approved replenishing the ETF with $50 million over two years. Gov. Rick Perry's office had requested $139 million

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