The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1M in seed funding to lay the groundwork for a new regional innovation engine in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. This two-year award, known as the “NSF Engines Development Award: Advancing energy and resilience technologies in the Permian Basin (TX, NM),” is the first step toward a possible ten-year, $160M NSF investment to implement the engine. The grant unites leading institutions across Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado, including The University of Texas at Austin, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, The University of Texas Permian Basin and El Paso, Odessa College, Midland College, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Tech University, and the Houston Advanced Research Center.
The Permian Basin based-program, led by UT Austin, will leverage the region’s considerable energy infrastructure and expertise — developed through decades of producing energy on a globally significant scale — to support research, development and commercialization of advanced energy solutions and technologies. Community engagement plays a critical role in this effort, fostering trust and inclusive growth.
Community Engagement Efforts
Community engagement will be led by the IC² Institute at UT and NREL. This effort will begin with understanding the different types of communities distributed throughout the Permian Basin and their roles in the oil and gas economies. Next steps will include identifying unique local assets that can be aggregated to promote and support new advanced energy solutions and technology testing. Inclusive and broad-based economic development goals will be adopted locally such that well-being, as well as economic growth, will be shared. Key research, innovation, and entrepreneurial assets will be tethered from PEDL partner communities – Austin, Houston, Denver, for example – to the Permian Basin to provide programs, support, and growth facilitation.
SXSW 2024: Global Growth Collaborative
In March 2024, the IC² Institute will host the “Global Growth Collaborative” at SXSW 2024. Through generous funding provided by the UT Center for European Studies and members of the PEDL team, we will support the attendance of SXSW 2024 by leaders of Northern Sweden communities and Permian Basin communities of Texas and New Mexico. Community leaders and business owners will explore ways to re-envision resource-based economies through international mentorship and partnerships.