(May 6, 2014) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the UT Health Science Center San Antonio (HSC) announce the formation of the San Antonio Life Sciences Institute (SALSI) Academy. The formation of the academy heralds in a new era of collaboration and multidisciplinary research between the two institutions.
Established in 2003, researchers involved in SALSI have driven the expansion of new scientific knowledge throughout Texas and have enhanced the research, teaching and service missions of UTSA and HSC. The collaboration has enabled joint doctoral programs and research projects and has driven initiatives that stimulated the growth of the biomedical and biotechnology industries in San Antonio. SALSI also has fostered the commercialization of the products of research with institutional partners such as the Southwest Research Institute and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
UTSA and HSC realized a need to further develop collaborative research and created the SALSI Academy to serve as the focal point for a wide range of educational, scientific and policy issues in the life sciences. Under the auspices of SALSI and with guidance from the leadership of the HSC and UTSA, the academy's mission is to collaborate on joint studies that significantly contribute to solutions for health care challenges in Texas and the nation. The SALSI Academy will achieve its mission through faculty development programs, shared resources such as core laboratories and collaborative funding mechanisms.
"A cornerstone concept of the SALSI Academy is to build on the successes of the past to promote stellar, team science which capitalizes on the talented human investigators we have within each institution," said Mark Nijland, assistant vice president for research at HSC.
The present global issues and challenges that research institutions are working to address are complex and occur at the intersection of disciplines. In order to advance research, creativity and innovation, there must be an integration and convergence of disciplines. Several joint initiatives will be launched within SALSI to enhance interdisciplinary research collaborations, significantly raise the international research profile and competitiveness of UTSA and HSC, and foster excellence and innovation for both institutions.
Beginning May 5, 2014, the SALSI Academy will accept proposals for its first joint initiative -- the SALSI Innovation Challenge. The initiative is designed to fund high-risk, high-reward studies that have the potential for ground-breaking research in targeted disease areas such as diabetes and allergies, which impact the South Texas region. The proposed research should lead to technologies and innovations targeting public health issues and diseases of global impact.
"The SALSI Academy is an additional conduit to facilitate and promote cross-collaborative research and training for faculty and students from both institutions," said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA assistant vice president for research. "Through the SALSI Innovation Challenge, we can jumpstart this collaborative research with high-reward, high-gain research that will change our approach to health-related issues."
Funding from the SALSI Innovation Challenge will support early and conceptual stages of project development and exploratory, novel studies that break new ground or extend previous discoveries toward new directions or applications. The total maximum amount to be requested by researchers is $200,000 per award ($100,000 per institution), and it is anticipated that four projects will be funded.
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.