Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Texas’s Emerging Technology Fund, used by Governor Rick Perry to attract business to the second- most populous state, has committed $192.7 million in 133 awards since 2006, resulting in 820 new jobs, the fund said.
Investments ranged from $250,000 to $5 million in companies, according to the fund’s annual report. The total awarded amounts to more than $200,000 per job, the figures show. The state held equity valued at $173.9 million as of Aug. 31, a 2.7 percent increase from disbursements of $169.3 million.
Texas is “attracting exactly the sort of private-sector investment the fund was designed to encourage,” Perry, a Republican, said in a Jan. 30 statement. “The state’s investments have attracted more than $592.3 million in private- sector and other funding to supplement these efforts.”
The biggest job creator was Xtreme Power Inc., which added 181 jobs after being awarded $2 million in March 2007, according to the report. The Kyle, Texas-based company, which designs energy storage and power-management systems, had revenue of more than $30 million in 2011.
No other recipient created more than 43 jobs.
An April report by Texas Auditor John Keel criticized the fund for limited monitoring of performance by recipients and a lack of public votes and record-keeping by the governing board. The report also suggested that committee members should be required to file annual financial-disclosure statements and not be allowed to invest with or be paid by grant recipients.
Perry, 61, agreed to some of the auditor’s requests, including maintaining board-meeting minutes to document members’ votes on grant recommendations. He disputed others, contending that the auditor misunderstood the fund’s purpose.
About $177 million has been spent on research projects connected to state universities, according to the report. The fund said it has targeted investments with a goal of “creating more innovative ideas in Texas and keeping them here, from the laboratory to the marketplace.”
--Editors: Ted Bunker, Mark Schoifet.
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