The IT industry in Texas has emerged as one of the nation’s fastest-growing centers of innovation. With nearly 3,000 patented inventions and ideas, Austin came second, just behind Silicon Valley, in a ranking of patents per capita of all metropolitan areas in the United States.
Education has played an essential role in this technology boom as Texas Tech University and the University of Texas expand their state-of-the-art research facilities and widen partnerships with other institutions. Governor Greg Abbot plans to earmark half of the the state's Emerging Technology Fund for the so-called Governor’s University Research Initiative, which will help universities enlist renowned academics. Abbot also stressed that this aggressive expansion of the educational sector complemented the state's commitment to create more jobs.
Home to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, more commonly known as NASA, Texas also leads the country, if not the world, in the aerospace industry. With NASA headquarters in Houston, San Antonio and Wichita Falls have attracted aerospace-related manufacturers and service providers. Carter Aviation Technologies continues to develop its experimental compound autogyro (CarterCopter), a slow rotor aircraft that posseses the speed, range and efficiency of airplanes and the capablty of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) of helicopters. In 2005, the CarterCopter made history when it broke the mu-1 barrier, or the ratio of the forward speed of a helicopter to the tip speed of its rotor.
It’s very exciting to think of what will come out next from the Lone Star State.