AUSTIN — U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Sept. 14 announced the opening of a “Defense Innovation Unit Experimental” hub at the Capital Factory in downtown Austin.
Carter and University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven said the hub would provide opportunities for innovators to partner with the Department of Defense to develop technologies to address the nation’s security challenges.
“Austin’s commitment to innovation, access to talent and academia, as well as the department’s longstanding ties to Texas, make this an ideal next location for DIUx,” Carter said.
Gov. Greg Abbott added, “Texas is the new frontier in innovation, and with the arrival of DIUx, the Department of Defense’s best technologists will be right here in Austin.”
According to the DIUx mission statement, “As our name implies, DIUx is just that: an ‘experiment.’ We continuously iterate on how best to identify, contract, and prototype novel innovations through sources traditionally not available to the Department of Defense, with the ultimate goal of accelerating technology into the hands of the men and women in uniform.”
The Capital Factory, an incubator for start-up technology companies founded in 2008 by Joshua Baer, occupies the fifth and 16th floors of the Omni Austin Hotel.
Other DIUx hubs have been launched in Northern California’s Silicon Valley and in Boston.
Texas economy adds jobs
The Texas Workforce Commission on Sept. 16 reported the increase of an estimated 21,400 nonfarm jobs in August and noted that the state has added jobs in 16 of the last 17 months.
Despite that increase, Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 4.7 percent in August, up slightly from 4.6 percent in July. The national unemployment rate for August was 4.9 percent.
Some students may register
Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos on Sept. 13 posted a reminder that qualified students have a variety of options to register to vote, including through their high school principal.
“Texas law has a unique provision that requires high school principals, or their designees, to serve as a voter registrar. I encourage all high school principals to offer this opportunity before the Oct. 11 registration deadline for the November election,” Cascos said.
Students may register if they are a U.S. citizen and have reached the age of 17 years and 10 months. To vote in an election, a Texan must be 18 years old by Election Day. In addition to students, high school principals or their designee also may register employees of their schools.
For more information visit VoteTexas.gov or call 1-800-252-VOTE.
Sabre home offices grow
Gov. Abbott on Sept. 14 announced Southlake, Texas-based Sabre GLBL Inc. would expand its headquarters at the Solana development in nearby Westlake.
The expansion, made possible in part by a $5 million Texas Enterprise Fund grant issued by the governor’s office, is expected to create 500 new jobs and bring more than $37 million in capital investment, Abbott said.
Sabre provides software, data, mobile and distribution solutions to airlines and hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries.
Free inspections offered
To coincide with national Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 18-24, the Texas Department of Transportation on Sept. 13 encouraged caregivers to make an appointment for a free inspection at the agency’s 25 statewide district offices.
TxDOT noted that nationwide, three out of four car seats are improperly installed. The agency reminded Texans that properly restraining their children while riding in vehicles is the law, and is an everyday, year-round responsibility.
“We are determined to educate parents and caregivers in Texas about the importance of buckling their child into the correct car seat for their age and size,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “It’s not only the law, but we’re also trying to save lives through proper use of safety seats.”
Texas law requires all children under 8, unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches, to be in a car seat whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle. Failure to properly restrain a child can result in a ticket of up to $250. In 2015, 83 children younger than 8 years old were killed in crashes in Texas.