Science and Technology
Texas has remained a global leader in science and technology since 1958, when Texas Instruments’ Jack Kilby spent a summer in Dallas inventing the first integrated circuit and laid the foundation for a $200 billion industry.
The state’s list of technological achievements is impressive. The Texas Governor’s Office reports that Texas ranks second among states for semiconductor manufacturing employment. In addition, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association estimate that Texas firms attracted $1.4 billion in venture capital in 2007. Austin, the state’s high-tech capital, accounted for nearly half this amount, with $684.3 million.
- According to the nation’s largest technology trade association, AeA, Texas ranks second among states in high-tech employment, with nearly 460,000 high-tech jobs paying an average of $81,600 annually in 2006 (most recent available data).
- The Princeton Review ranks Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin seventh and eighth, respectively, among the nation’s top graduate engineering programs.
- Texas’ Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) promotes and finances commercial projects that promise to produce medical or scientific breakthroughs or are likely to lead to high-quality new jobs. The ETF received $200 million in funding for fiscal 2006 and 2007.
- Texas ranks second in the number of patents issued annually and third in investments into venture-backed companies, according to a 2007 ranking published by the Wall Street Journal.
- Texas is home to about 910 biotechnology, biomedical research, business and government consortia, medical manufacturing companies and world class universities and research facilities. These facilities and institutions employ nearly 29,000 workers.
- In 2007, the industry publication Small Times placed Houston’s Rice University among the world’s top ten university nanotechnology programs in five of eight categories. At least 20 other Texas universities are conducting nanotech research, as are major Texas companies such as Texas Instruments and Freescale Semiconductors.