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Emerging Industries

Life Sciences & Biotech – The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) research portfolio is evolving and continued growth in life sciences creates potential for industry development. Research funding for life sciences at UT Dallas more than doubled in the decade between 2007 and 2016. The National Institutes of Health Prime Award Growth indicates the DFW research base is growing faster than the country, and Richardson is the fastest growing community in North Texas because of the presence of UT Dallas.

The Dallas-Fort Worth region is poised as a growing hub for the life sciences industry. In addition to research funding and new university programs, DFW International Airport was recently awarded the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification, which recognizes companies that successfully complete a rigorous process and meet global standards set by the International Airport Transport Association for handing pharmaceuticals at airports. DFW is one of only two airports in North America with a CEIV Pharma Community covering all links in the airport supply chain.

While DFW has several deep biotech research programs at UT Southwestern and UT Dallas, two programs that are ranked in the top 40 nationally in terms of funding, a study conducted by the City of Richardson found substantial evidence to suggest that wet lab space is virtually impossible to find with an opportunity for post-incubator scale up space. The Richardson Innovation Quarter’s central location, the presence of UT Dallas and access to light rail connecting the district to both UT Southwestern Medical Campus and DFW Airport makes The IQ® an ideal location for the life sciences industry and the City of Richardson is interested in supporting the development of scale up wet lab space in
The IQ®.

Mobility InnovationThe Dallas-Fort Worth region is ripe for the nation’s first deployment of automated commercial motor vehicles given the sheer volume of freight it sees, its location along major freight corridors, and the willingness of Texas lawmakers to engage in meaningful discussions on safety and education. The IQ®  is a living test bed for autonomous transportation and Richardson is interested in identifying strategic partners to create a living laboratory throughout the District where new technology can be tested in a real world environment. Richardson works closely with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to prepare our region for a future of connected and automated transportation. 

The North Central Texas Council of Governments has partnered with the Texas Research Alliance and a number of local universities to launch the North Texas Center for Mobility Technologies (NTCMT) to help create a research and development network for local players in the industry. One of the NTCMT members is the University of Texas at Dallas, located in Richardson. The creation of the center comes as a number of tech companies in the mobility industry have been setting up shop in the region. In 2019, Kodiak Robotics announced developing a facility in Lancaster to support its testing and freight operations. Then, in 2020, autonomous driving companies Aurora and TuSimple announced plans to open operational hubs in the region.

Legislation on both the local and state level has shown warmth to the driverless tech ecosystem. And with the creation of the NTCMT, its member organizations hope to bring more companies and talent to the region.

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