Speakers promote culture of disruption at Innovation Summit

Innovation is disruption.

That was the theme of the Innovation Summit, which is sponsored annually by the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP).

“Innovation is thriving here deep in the heart of the Texas Innovation Corridor,” GSMP President Adriana Cruz told the business leaders, elected officials and others who attended the 2019 Summit, held Sept. 18 at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos.

Cruz cited the role of Texas State University, an “emerging research institute”, which is continuing to drive economic development through avenues including its incubator, which fosters new products and technologies.

The Hays-Caldwell county region holds 11 times the average  of patents for the state of Texas and nine times the average for the nation as a whole, Cruz said, and is “attracting new investment from across the country and around the world,” translating that investment into “new high quality jobs, goods and services” that will improve the quality of life for local residents far into the future.

Her message was backed up by a video from Governor Greg Abbott. “We are stronger together as a region than we are separately,” he said of the “Innovation Corridor” stretching from Austin to San Antonio. He pointed to Texas State President Denise Trauth, who has been in her position for 17 years, and cited her “grit and grace” in actively pursuing economic development and “branding our region in a manner that will put us on the international map.”

When she came to the podium, Trauth returned to the theme of disruption. “You can’t talk about innovation without talking about disruption … here on the Innovation Corridor that’s a concept that we celebrate.”

Trauth said this an “exciting time” for Texas State, which had a record number of incoming freshmen this year for the seventh year in a row, as well as a record-breaking summer graduating class.

“Big ideas that are taking shape at Texas State have set the stage for us to disrupt on an even larger scale,” she said, adding that the goal is “to strengthen research programs and launch new ones.”

She said the university has embraced the concept of “big ideas” and detailed five of them: Augmented reality, healthcare research, smart materials, harnessing the power of “big data” and using innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Our region has embraced the culture of disruption for the greater good,” Trauth said. “Innovation is going to thrive.”

The Innovation Summit, which was the sixth annual, was sponsored by Texas State University, CFAN, Central Texas Medical Center, First Lockhart Bank, Frost Bank, SpawGlass, University Federal Credit Union and Texas Disposal Systems.

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