Texoma Semiconductor Tech Hub consortium convenes at Austin College

The SMU-led Texoma Semiconductor Tech Hub consortium met at Austin College to continue developing the group’s application for up to $75 million in federal funds.

Credit: Austin College

On Monday, Jan. 8, the SMU-led Texoma Semiconductor Tech Hub (TSTH) Consortium convened at Austin College to continue developing the group’s application for up to $75 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The TSTH is one of only 31 applicants nationwide and the only one in Texas to receive the Tech Hub designation following Phase I of the EDA’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs competition. Additionally, TSTH is one of only 11 applicants that also won a Strategy Development Grant as part of the competition.

The Texoma Tech Hub is a 41-member consortium of geographically-connected public, private, and academic partners that is seeking to strengthen and drive innovation in the existing semiconductor supply chain in 29 counties in North Texas and southern Oklahoma through regional collaboration and workforce development. 

The Tech Hub project will bolster the regional tech boom that was ignited by recent investments in Sherman by Texas Instruments, Coherent, Global Wafers, and other companies. According to the EDA, the “designation is an endorsement of the region’s strategy to supercharge their respective technological industry to create jobs and strengthen U.S. economic and national security.”

TSTH specifically aims to address the regional supply chain and workforce pipeline—which could mean more quality jobs for North Texans. Leveraging its central location and robust transportation network, the consortium is bringing greater alignment between industry, education at the K-12 and college levels, investors, and other civic entities to ensure that the region is poised to develop into a major technology center.

The Phase I awards were announced in October, and work has progressed quickly in anticipation of a late-February deadline to apply for the next phase of the EDA’s Tech Hubs program. Local partners met at Austin College on Dec. 8, and the full 41-member consortium met at SMU on Dec. 13. At the Jan. 8 meeting at Austin College, goals for the day-long working session included combining component proposals into one overarching framework and evaluating gaps in fulfilling the proposal criteria.

The workshop was sponsored by Sherman Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) and Austin College. Project leads include Suku Nair, SMU vice provost for research and chief innovation officer; Jennifer Dworak, professor and associate chair of electrical and computer engineering at SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering; Scott Douglas, professor and associate chair of electrical and computer engineering at Lyle; J.-C. Chiaothe Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Lyle; David Griffith, professor of business administration at Austin College; Steve Guengerich, associate vice president of innovation and commercialization at UT Dallas and Brian Post, senior director of advanced technology initiatives for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. – Austin College