AUSTIN, TX /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- National Instruments announced the creation of the NI Texas Emerging Technology Grant Program, which provides software and training services to companies that receive investments from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF). NI created the grant to support the ETF, which the Texas legislature and Texas Governor Rick Perry created in 2005 to help expedite the development and commercialization of new technologies created in Texas. Companies who receive ETF funding in 2010 are prequalified for NI Texas Emerging Technology Grants, and those who received funding in previous years are encouraged to apply. NI is also accepting applications from companies who qualify for an ETF grant but have not yet received funding.
"The ETF is a key investment by the state of Texas into companies that have the potential to create groundbreaking technologies, and it helps attract top researchers to our state," said Alan Kirchhoff, Director of the Emerging Technology Fund. "National Instruments is a great example of a Texas-based company that has grown from a small start-up to a multinational corporation, employing more than 2,200 Texans. Because the company helps its customers accelerate their product development with NI technologies, we are excited to have NI as a supporter of the ETF."
The goal of the new grant program is to help Texas-based start-up companies get their new product concepts to market quickly by using prototyping technologies based on the NI LabVIEW graphical system design platform. Using this platform, engineers and scientists can reduce the cost and risk of new product development with the ability to rapidly design, prototype, and deploy embedded systems. LabVIEW and embedded system hardware provide easy connectivity to sensors and actuators, extensive algorithm engineering tools, and a typical 3- to 10-time software productivity improvement compared with traditional text-based software development tools, which allows engineers and scientists to shorten the gap between product idea and implementation.
"NI has grown from a three-man operation based out of my garage in Austin into a successful global corporation," said Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO, and cofounder of National Instruments. "With the help of the ETF and the NI Texas Emerging Technology Grant, other Texas entrepreneurial companies will have an easier time getting their products to market. I look forward to seeing other technology companies succeed with the help of these funds."
National Instruments is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype, and deploy systems for measurement, automation, and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software, such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3% of revenue and no one industry representing more than 15% of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, TX, NI has more than 5,000 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 10 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. Readers can obtain investment information from the company's investor relations department by calling 512-683-5090, emailing [email protected] or visiting the company's Web site.
About the EFT
The ETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas legislature in 2005 at the governor's request, and reauthorized in 2007 and again this session with $203.5 million for the 2010-2011 biennium. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs, and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, lieutenant governor, and Speaker of the House. To date, the ETF has allocated more than $119 million in funds to 95 early-stage companies, and $148 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities.
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