The Texas State University System Board of Regents has authorized Texas State University to expand the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park by acquiring an adjacent tract of approximately 20 acres.
The board, meeting Aug. 29 in Austin, approved the purchase for approximately $1,768,000.
The addition is an investment in the future, said STAR Park Director Stephen Frayser.
"The expansion of STAR Park from 38 acres to 58.28 acres will increase the university’s ability to undertake new innovation-based collaborations," Frayser said. "Full build-out is anticipated to take up to 20 years. Upon completion, STAR Park could accommodate up to 500,000 square feet of office, engineering and laboratory space."
STAR Park is a collaborative effort of Texas State University and research partners serving as a catalyst for continued public/private development of new or improved technologies. Anchored by the STAR One technology business incubator, STAR Park is currently home to five new and emerging technology companies, a soon-to-be-opened advanced polymers and nanomaterials center, Texas State's Small Business Development Center and the Office of Commercialization and Industry Relations.
"This action by our Board of Regents enables Texas State to secure additional property adjacent to STAR Park, helping ensure that we can expand our efforts to increase innovation and commercialization of technologies developed in collaborative partnerships with the private sector," said Texas State Provost Gene Bourgeois. "This purchase will help ensure Texas State’s ability to expand its research and commercialization profile through collaboration with the private sector."
Firms locating in STAR Park must be engaged with Texas State in product research, development, engineering, testing and/or pilot scale production of a proprietary product, process or service. Increased support for student entrepreneurship efforts is also being planned for the future.
In addition to acquiring the additional land for the future expansion of STAR Park, the regents also split a planned expansion of the STAR One building into two parts to allow for an expedited construction process. Previously, on the board’s capital improvement plan, the finish-out of six additional labs in STAR One had been combined with a 16,000 square-foot expansion of the facility. However, the board split the project in two, potentially allowing for the finish-out of the six labs to occur at a faster pace than the expansion. The Board of Regents is expected to take this up for consideration at its next meeting, and details will be released once appropriate approval is granted.
Initial funding for the construction of STAR One was received from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), the City of San Marcos and Texas State. The Texas Emerging Technology Fund and the EDA have provided funding for continued program development.