Thank you Dr. [James] Willerson for that introduction.
I'm always happy to be in Houston, but today is something special.
Today, we get to make an announcement that, once again, holds the promise of changing the way we look at the world.
Ideas that were, until recently, firmly rooted in the universe of science fiction are now becoming reality.
Today, we take another step closer to that reality, as I'm honored to announce the creation of the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology.
This center is a collaboration between the Texas Heart Institute and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and represents another step toward making Texas the forefront of biotechnology for generations to come.
Over the past decade, we've invested in innovative programs to prioritize research in our state, both at our universities and in the private sector.
Through tools like the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, which is investing $3 million in this venture, we've encouraged academic research that has pushed the envelope in the treatment of diseases and disorders.
That sort of investment helps us attract, and keep, the very best researchers in the world, and this is certainly no exception.
Dr. Doris Taylor has already done wonders in the laboratory...and under her leadership, the sky is truly the limit for what this center will be able to accomplish in the years to come.
This center will play a key role in securing Texas' emerging role in biotechnology.
Already, Texas is a beacon for those trying to find new ways to cure and treat diseases, and a center for the development of cutting-edge technology, from smartphones to vaccines. Last year, Texas A&M became home to a next-generation vaccine manufacturing facility to rapidly develop and manufacture vaccines to help combat influenza outbreaks.
Earlier this week, I was at the grand opening of Flextronics' new smartphone production facility in Fort Worth; the first and only factory assembling smartphones in the United States.
We also have seen major investments in Texas from companies like Google, Facebook, Electronic Arts and Samsung.
It's all part of a culture of creation we've nurtured in Texas, built upon the concept that we need to free people to innovate; that if you give bright and visionary people the freedom to pursue their dreams, good things will happen.
Texas has long been home to visionaries, from the earliest days of the oilfields of East Texas and the Telecom Corridor in North Texas, up to and including burgeoning commercial space ventures like XCOR in Midland. The Lone Star State is the place where you can dream big, and make those dreams come true.
It's important to remember that the research conducted at this new center will make other dreams come true as well; dreams of happier, healthier, longer lives for Texans.
Sometimes it's the simplest things that make the most profound dreams: the joy of fishing with your grandfather; the satisfaction in the eyes of a parent at their child's graduation; or the deep pleasure of having the entire family come together for the holidays.
That's what this center promises for the people of Texas and for people around the world.
I could not be prouder that this life-affirming research will be conducted here in our state, and I can't wait to see it put into action.
Whether in biotech, communications, commerce or videogames: you will find Texas at the forefront of the movement.
Today, we again build upon that tradition.
I congratulate everyone involved...and look forward to great things happening here in the decades to come.
Thank you, and may God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.