Bill Text: TX HB29 | 2015-2016 | 84th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the funding of certain activities related to the commercialization of emerging technologies.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2015-04-02 - Left pending in committee [HB29 Detail]

Download: Texas-2015-HB29-Introduced.html
 
 
  By: Springer H.B. No. 29
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the funding of certain activities related to the
  commercialization of emerging technologies.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 62, Education Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter H to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER H. GOVERNOR'S UNIVERSITY RESEARCH INITIATIVE
         Sec. 62.161.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Distinguished researcher" means a researcher
  with a national reputation who is a Nobel laureate or is a member
  of, or holds promise of election to, a national honorific society,
  such as the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of
  Engineering, or the Institute of Medicine.
               (2)  "Eligible institution" means a general academic
  teaching institution or a health-related institution.
               (3)  "Fund" means the governor's university research
  initiative fund.
               (4)  "General academic teaching institution" has the
  meaning assigned by Section 61.003.
               (5)  "Private or independent institution of higher
  education" has the meaning assigned by Section 61.003.
               (6)  "Health-related institution" means a "medical and
  dental unit" as defined by Section 61.003 and any other public
  health science center, public medical school, or public dental
  school established by statute or in accordance with Chapter 61.
               (7)  "Office" means the Texas Economic Development and
  Tourism Office within the office of the governor.
               (8)  "Governing Board" as the meaning assigned by
  Section 61.003
         Sec. 62.162.  ADMINISTRATION. (a) The initiative is
  administered by the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office
  within the office of the governor.
         (b)  From money appropriated from the governor's university
  research initiative fund, the office shall award matching grants to
  assist eligible institutions in recruiting distinguished
  researchers.
         Sec. 62.163.  MATCHING GRANTS. (a) An eligible institution
  may apply to the office for a matching grant from the fund. For an
  approved proposal, the office shall award to the institution an
  amount equal to the amount committed by the institution for the
  recruitment of a distinguished researcher, except as provided by
  Subsection (b).
         (b)  A grant proposal must identify the source and amount of
  the institution's matching funds and must demonstrate that the
  proposal has the support of the president of the institution and of
  the institution's governing board or that of board's chair, or
  chancellor. The institution may commit to the match any funds of the
  institution available for that purpose other than appropriated
  general revenue.
         (c)  For awards in each fiscal year, the office may set a
  deadline for applications for that year. After fully funding
  awards from the amount available for that year, the office may
  reopen applications for full funding or may select timely but
  unfunded proposals for a reduced grant.
         (d)  A matching grant received by an eligible institution
  under this subchapter may not be considered as a basis to reduce,
  directly or indirectly, the amount of money otherwise appropriated
  to the institution.
         (e)  A matching grant may not be used to recruit a
  distinguished researcher from another eligible institution,
  private or independent institution of higher education.
         Sec. 62.164.  AWARDS CRITERIA; PRIORITY. (a) In making
  awards, the office shall give priority to proposals for the
  recruitment of distinguished researchers in science, technology,
  engineering, and mathematics. Within those priority subjects, the
  office shall give priority to proposals that demonstrate that the
  proposal:
               (1)  has a probability of enhancing Texas' national and
  global economic competitiveness;
               (2)  has a probability of creating a national or
  internationally recognized locus of research superiority or a
  unique locus of research;
               (3)  who has significant funding from federal and/or
  private sources that could be transferred to the eligible
  institution;
               (4)  is interdisciplinary and collaborative; or
               (5)  has a strategic plan for intellectual property
  development and commercialization of technology.
         (b)  A proposal may support the recruitment of researchers
  distinguished in, or to be engaged in, basic, translational, or
  applied research. A proposal may propose a recruitment for new
  research capabilities of the institution or to expand existing
  research capabilities.
         (c)  A proposal should identify a specific distinguished
  researcher, in addition to the priorities considered under
  Subsection (a), the office may consider:
               (1)  whether, but for the grant from the fund, the
  recruit is likely to go elsewhere;
               (2)  the extent to which the recruit's research subject
  matter offers opportunity for interdisciplinary and collaborative
  research at the institution and with other eligible institutions;
  and
               (3)  the commercialization track record of the recruit,
  if any.
         (d)  Any information of a specific distinguished researcher
  for recruitment that would tend to identify the recruit, is
  confidential until the recruit has entered into an employment
  relationship with the institution.
         Sec. 62.165.  ADVISORY BOARD. (a) The governor shall
  appoint an advisory board to review proposals and recommend awards.
         (b)  The advisory board must be composed of at least nine
  members. One-third of the advisory board must have a background in
  finance and one-third must have an academic background in science,
  technology, engineering, or mathematics.
         (c)  Chapter 2110, Government Code, does not apply to the
  size, composition, or duration of the advisory board.
         (d)  An advisory board member who is or has been employed by,
  or has or has had a contract for any purpose with, a general
  academic teaching institution or health-related institution may
  not be involved in the review or recommendation of proposals made by
  that institution.
         (e)  An advisory board member is not required to be a
  resident of Texas.
         (f)  Appointments to the advisory board shall be made without
  regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or
  national origin of appointees.
         (g)  Members of the advisory board serve without
  compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for actual and
  necessary expenses in attending meetings of the advisory board or
  performing other official duties authorized by the office.
         (h)  Each eligible institution that applies to the office for
  a matching grant may address the board directly for 25 minutes, per
  matching grant application to discuss the application with the
  board.
         Sec. 62.166.  GOVERNOR'S UNIVERSITY RESEARCH INITIATIVE
  FUND. (a) The governor's university research initiative fund is a
  dedicated account in the general revenue fund.
         (b)  The fund consists of any amounts appropriated to or
  transferred to the fund by the legislature, in addition to any gifts
  for purposes of the fund.
         (c)  Sections 403.095 and 404.071, Government Code, do not
  apply to the fund.
         Sec. 62.167.  WIND-UP OF TEXAS EMERGING TECHNOLOGY FUND.
  (a) The governor's university research initiative is the successor
  to the Texas emerging technology fund. Awards from that fund, and
  contracts governing awards from that fund, shall be wound up in
  accordance with this section.
         (b)  If a contract governing an award from the Texas
  emerging technology fund provided for the distribution of
  royalties, revenue, or other financial benefits realized from the
  commercialization of intellectual or real property developed from
  an award from the fund, those financial benefits shall continue to
  be distributed in accordance with the terms of the contract unless
  the recipient and the governor agree otherwise. Unless otherwise
  required by law, royalties or revenue accruing to the state under
  such a contract shall be credited to the governor's university
  research initiative fund.
         (b)  If money from the Texas emerging technology fund is
  encumbered by contract executed before September 1, 2015, but has
  not been distributed before that date, the money shall be
  distributed from the governor's university research initiative
  fund in accordance with the terms of the contract, unless the
  recipient and the governor agree otherwise.
         (c)  If award money from the Texas emerging technology fund
  under a contract executed before September 1, 2015, has been fully
  distributed, the entity that received the award is considered to
  have fully satisfied the entity's obligations and performed all
  specific actions under the terms of the contract governing the
  award. The recipient entity shall file with the office a final
  report showing the purposes for which the award money has been
  expended and, if award money remains unexpended, the purposes for
  the recipient will expend the remaining money. The recipient is not
  required to return to the state any award money received under the
  contract.
         (d)  The Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company shall
  manage the following in accordance with prior law relating to
  awards from the Texas emerging technology fund:
               (1)  equity positions in the form of stock or other
  security taken by the governor, on behalf of the state, in companies
  receiving awards before September 1, 2015; and
               (2)  any other investments, excluding grants, made by
  the governor on the state's behalf in connection with an award from
  the emerging technology fund before September 1, 2015.
         (e)  The Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, as soon as
  practicable after September 1, 2015, shall begin winding up the
  state's portfolio of equity positions and other investments
  described by Subsection (d) of this section by selling the stock and
  other investments when it is economically advantageous to the state
  to do so. The trust company has any power necessary to accomplish
  the purpose of this section. In managing these investments through
  procedures and subject to restrictions that the trust company
  considers appropriate, the trust company may acquire, exchange,
  sell, supervise, manage, or retain any kind of investment that a
  prudent investor, exercising reasonable care, skill, and caution,
  would acquire or retain in light of the purposes, terms,
  distribution requirements, and other circumstances then prevailing
  pertinent to each investment. Proceeds shall be deposited to the
  credit of the governor's university research initiative fund,
  taking into consideration the expenses of managing and liquidating
  the equity positions and other investments.
         SECTION 2.  (a) Chapter 490, Government Code, is repealed.
         (b)  The repeal by this Act of Chapter 490, Government Code,
  does not affect the validity of an agreement between the governor
  and the recipient of an award awarded under Chapter 490, or a person
  to be awarded money under that chapter, that is executed before
  September 1, 2015. Those agreements shall be performed as provided
  by Section 62.167, Education Code, as added by this Act.
         (c)  A regional center of innovation and commercialization
  established under Section 490.152, Government Code, is abolished on
  the effective date of this Act. Each center shall transfer to the
  office of the governor a copy of any meeting minutes required to be
  retained under Section 490.1521, Government Code, as that section
  existed immediately before that section's repeal by this Act, and
  the office shall retain the minutes for the period prescribed by
  that section.
         (d)  The Texas emerging technology fund is abolished. The
  comptroller of public accounts shall transfer any unexpended
  balance of that fund to the governor's university research
  initiative fund.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
feedback