(Oct. 31, 2013) -- Gone are the days when a researcher could sit alone quietly in the laboratory to test a hypothesis. Today's most pressing global challenges are complex and require interdisciplinary solutions. They require dialogue and collaboration.
Strategic partnerships are intrinsic to the strength of the nation's top research universities. As UTSA advances toward Tier One recognition, several local and regional partnerships are helping boost UTSA's research and teaching programs.
When UTSA and CPS Energy teamed up to create the CPS Energy-UTSA Energy Research Alliance in 2010, Mayor Julian Castro called the partnership a "game changer" that would give ratepayers a more efficient utility, while propelling UTSA to Tier One status.
And the partnership is holding up to that expectation.
The 10-year, $50 million program has already supported San Antonio's positioning as a green energy corridor. Likewise, it has initiated new research programs at the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute, while allowing UTSA to recruit and train the next generation of leaders in energy.
UTSA has partnered with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Biomed SA and industry leaders to establish the Commercialization Council. The elite group of C-suite members is dedicated to creating an entrepreneurial culture. Through its collective network, the council has created an ecosystem to support San Antonio's technology entrepreneurs, many of whom are now coming from UTSA.
At the same time, many members of the council have developed processes to enable collaborative research projects. UTSA and SwRI, for example, are now in the fourth year of their joint Connect program, which annually awards funding to collaborative research projects in advanced materials, chemistry and chemical engineering, energy, the environment, security and manufacturing. The goal is to develop new technologies that can lead to more external research funds as well as new companies and products that can help create jobs and contribute to the economic development of our region.
In science and engineering, UTSA has received strong support from the military. Notably, a five-year, $4.6 million grant from the Department of Defense allowed UTSA to establish a Center of Excellence in Infection Genomics in 2011. The funding supports microbiology research, teaching and outreach programs aligned with Army priorities. Additionally, UTSA scientists and engineers are supported by another 22 grants and contracts combined from the Army Research Office, Office of Naval Research and Air Force Office of Scientific Research. UTSA researchers also work closely with scientists from the Institute for Surgical Research, which is based at the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
UTSA's partnerships have resulted in excellent new learning opportunities for students.
The Facilitated Acceptance Medical School (FAME) program that is jointly offered by UTSA and the UT Health Science Center San Antonio allows top scholars to earn their B.S. and M.D. degree programs in seven years rather than the traditional eight.
Additionally, the support of strong partners is allowing UTSA to offer several exceptional graduate degree programs that would be challenging for UTSA to offer alone. College-educated professionals now have the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees in business administration and public health, biomedical engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, and Translational Science at UTSA.
Top-tier universities are nationally recognized for excellence in educating students, making research-based discoveries and serving the community. Through collaboration, they stimulate economic growth and improve society's well being.
Partners like the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, SwRI, the military, SAWS and CPS Energy are critical to UTSA's mission. With the help of these and other partners around the world, UTSA is rapidly achieving its goal to become a Tier One research institution that bolsters San Antonio's economy. A top-tier city deserves a top-tier university.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.