In the context of the agreement between AWEX and Texas A&M University System, Walloon companies have the possibility to benefit from an incubator on the site of the main campus of the university network, located near Houston, at College Station.
The aim is to provide representatives of companies established in Wallonia with an office linked to a wide range of professional services (reception/secretariat, marketing assistance, legal advice, networking, etc.) in the International Gateway (http://internationalgateway.us/), which is positioned as a scientific and technological incubator, offering services dedicated to foreign companies wishing to establish a presence in the United States, at very advantageous conditions.
Strategic partnership between the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency and Texas A&M
On 7 December 2016, the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency renewed its partnership (MoU) with Texas A&M (Texas A&M University System). This agreement pursues various objectives:
- Create global companies by commercialising new technologies in Texas and Wallonia simultaneously.
- Facilitate access to the American market for our Walloon companies
- In return, assist in the marketing of products and business development of our American partners in Wallonia
- Link Walloon companies with potential American companies to create partnerships
- Cross-prospect multinational companies in the area of research
Texas A&M in a nutshell
Texas A&M is a public university in the state of Texas, founded in 1876. This university is a benchmark in the United States in the fields of life sciences, energy and the petroleum industry, mechanical engineering, aerospace, environmental technologies and agriculture. It comprises 19 universities and affiliated institutions, with a total of 27,000 employees and 140,000 students, all active in the field of science and technology.
Texas A&M is one of the most research-intensive universities in the United States; it spends an average of more than US$946 million annually. To date, its technology commercialisation office has analysed more than 2,600 inventions conceived within Texas A&M. On average, it files one patent application every day and concludes one license agreement every week. It is also behind the creation of more than 50 start-ups developed from technologies originating from the university.
Texas is the second largest economy in the United States and the 11th in the world in terms of GDP. It occupies a dominant position in the United States for oil and natural gas production. Its economy is characterised by the importance of the petrochemical, aeronautical, space, computer, medical and biotechnology industries.
Texas is the U.S. state with the largest number of Fortune 500 companies. It offers an advantageous tax regime due to the absence of personal or corporate income tax and a lower regulatory level than in other states. Its favourable business climate meant that it was less impacted by the economic and financial crisis compared to other American states. Texas enjoys one of the best growth rates in the United States.
Texas' economic activity is stimulated by its dense network of universities. Its main cities include Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin.
Terms of the contribution
With the help of the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency, companies will conclude an occupancy contract directly with the RVIC, according to the following terms and conditions:
- The one-off entry fee is US$ 5,000, - (includes the creation of the American legal entity)
- Monthly contribution of $US 500,
- or a maximum total of $US 11,000, if the company decides to stay for one year.
The company will have a legal address in the United States, an office which is furnished and equipped in terms of IT (iMacs & iPads, WiFi, remote printers, scanned and emailed mail, etc.), telecommunications (local number and remotely accessible mail, internet, etc.) and a comprehensively equipped conference room, for a period of minimum 3 months and maximum 1 year.
Additional services for a reduced fee
A la carte services are also available for $US75/hour, including:
- Market research and analysis
- Strategic Business planning
- IP protection strategies
- Assistance in drawing up a business plan
- Assistance in seeking funds
The company can also opt for a package of 50 hours per quarter at a price of US$ 2,750 or US$ 55/hour.
The financial contribution of the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency
The Wallonia Export-Investment Agency proposes support for the opening of sales representative offices to support Walloon companies in their prospecting of markets outside the European Union. This makes it possible to cover a maximum of 50% of the costs borne by the company, in the form of a single flat rate for simplicity.
The company will also benefit from the support of the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency's commercial office in Houston, Texas.
Conditions of the contribution
- The company must have its head office in the Walloon Region, carry out significant activities in the sectors of energy, environmental technologies, mechanical engineering and agriculture, and demonstrate a real interest in the American market.
- The company undertakes to delegate a duly authorised representative who will stay locally for the entire reference period (3 months minimum - 1 year maximum).