Energizing Innovation in the Permian Basin

I recently had the great pleasure of speaking with Dr. Brian Korgel who is leading the Permian Basin initiative which recently received a Type-1 NSF Innovation Engine Development award. The award gives them two years and $1mm to put together a compelling plan to build a Type-2 Regional Innovation Engine spanning the Permian Basin region. This is part of a broader NSF effort to accelerate the creation of several dozen Innovation Engines in underserved regions throughout the United States.

If Dr. Korgel and his team are successful in this first two year phase, they will be eligible to receive a 10 year $160mm grant to create a Regional Innovation Engine in the Permian Basin.

One of the primary purposes of the NSF program is to diversify regional economies while taking advantage of assets and ecosystems that already exist. In the case of West Texas and New Mexico, that’s energy. And since the world’s energy consumption will only continue to rise, this presents a huge opportunity for workers, entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, and communities throughout the region.

Brian is one of those rare individuals who is both a scientist and a visionary – uniquely capable of leading such an important and interdisciplinary endeavor. He is also an exceptional communicator. We touched on a wide range of topics including energy innovations from carbon capture and re-purpusposing to workforce development and the need to attract capital to fund innovative start-ups to the region. He’s incredibly busy, and I appreciate him taking the time to talk with Fast Future.

I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Tom Cottingham, CEO, Fast Future

Click below to watch the interview