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Denise Trauth spoke to a crowd of approximately 150 attendees at the sixth annual Greater San Marcos Innovation Summit. Daily Record photo by Nick Castillo

GSMP holds 6th Annual Innovation Summit

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Greater San Marcos Partnership President Adriana Cruz and Texas State University President Denise Trauth highlighted the region’s growing innovation at the Greater San Marcos Innovation Summit on Wednesday. 

Cruz discussed the strength of the Greater San Marcos area, while Trauth showcased the Texas State’s growth. Mike Georgoff — chief product officer of H-E-B Digital — delivered the keynote address. The Innovation Summit also featured a panel discussion with John Kinzer, president and CEO of Visionary Fiber Technologies, and Scott Dunn, CEO of Urban Mining Company. The GSMP also awarded Visionary Fiber Technologies its Dick Burdick Award for Innovation at Wednesday’s event. 

“Innovation is thriving here deep in the heart of the Texas innovation corridor between our two neighbors to the north and south — Austin and San Antonio,” Cruz told a crowd of approximately 150 attendees at this year’s summit held at the City of San Marcos Conference Center at Embassy Suites. “You don’t have to look far to find evidence of innovation that’s developing in our region. You’ll find it at Texas State University, an emerging research institution that continues to drive our regional economy and produce an educated and productive workforce that is second to none. 

“You’ll find it at STAR Park — Texas State’s technology business incubator designed to develop new technologies, new products and the entrepreneurial spirit. You’ll find it in the number of patents generated in our region. The greater San Marcos region has registered 11 times the number of patents per capita than the state of Texas and nine times more than the entire country. Greater San Marcos is building a reputation around an innovative and growth oriented culture that is attracting new investment from across the country and across the world.”

The Innovation Summit also received a video message from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

“Our economy is now more diversified than ever before,” Abbott said in his message. “The Greater San Marcos Partnership plays a vital role in that success story. You do it with your efforts to promote economic development, as well as technological innovation across this entire region. From things like aerospace and defense to life sciences and information technology, this region continues to earn this reputation as the Texas Innovation Corridor. Working together, we will keep Texas at the very forefront of technological innovation as well as economic prosperity.”

Trauth told attendees about the current ongoings at Texas State, highlighting that the university welcomed its largest freshman class in school history, had a record-breaking summer graduation class and Princeton Review ranked the university as “one of the nation’s best institutions.” 

She also talked about Texas State’s five big ideas — using augmented and virtual reality to revolutionize training for law enforcement, improving people’s health and well-being through innovations in healthcare, smart materials, harnessing the power of big data and innovation and entrepreneurship. 

“We continue to raise our profile nationally,” Trauth said. “But also, we continue to be a leader in innovative research with relevance … Our university has many existing centers of excellence. That is the case and that has been the case for a long time. These centers of excellence are research specialties that have gained national or international recognition for contributing solutions to some of society’s most perplexing challenges in the areas of public safety, health and wellness, societal resilience and environmental stewardship.

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