County judge invites tech innovator to speak about economic development

Innovation-With-Todays-TechnologyBy Kathryn Jones


County Judge Mike Ford is calling a public meeting to learn about new approaches for economic development from an Arlington expert on technology innovation.

Wes Jurey, president and chief executive officer of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and its Center for Innovation, will make a presentation next Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m., at the Somervell County Annex.

Somervell County Commissioners, other community leaders and members of the local Economic Steering Committee have been invited. The event also will be posted as a public meeting, Ford said.

The judge said he recently met for two hours with Jurey and came away “impressed” with the center’s model for economic development and the partnerships that can result.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to do economic development,” Ford said. “We’re trying to get a feel for other approaches. There’s a more logical model nowadays other than paying someone $150,000 to be your economic director.”

The Center For Innovation, a nonprofit established in 2001 by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Foundation, describes itself as bringing together “technology, capital and talent to match market needs with research capabilities of industry, academia and government.”

The center’s approach is to work with federal labs, university and industry, create access to venture capital and attract talent and know-how to support entrepreneurial development and technology transfer.

One of the center’s research and technology partnerships is TechComm, which works to commercialize technology. It brings together nine federal agencies and has more than 300 labs dedicated to research, as well as university and industry partnerships. Texas Tech University joined the partnership last August.

“Our relationship with the center and the City of Arlington will further enhance our well-established relationships with federal labs, research universities and industry in a city that is home to so many of our students and accomplished alumni,” said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, when the partnership was announced.


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