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Partnership Members Making News - August 2022

Published Aug 17, 2022 by Hailea Schultz

Rice University

Rice University

The Greater Houston Partnership celebrates our members making important announcements and sharing news about their operations and impact in our community. Learn more about some of those announcements over the last month below. 

Amazon announced a new same-day retail delivery service across many locations, including Houston. This service allows prime members to browse select retail stores on Amazon and offers pick-up and same-day delivery options. The initial installment of this service will include popular brands such as PacSun, GNC, and many more. 

After 40 years in its offices at the Galleria, the engineering and construction firm Bechtel, recently announced its relocation. Driven by the desire for more space to serve its growing business, Bechtel signed one of the largest new leases in 2022. Bechtel's new building is nine stories tall, energy efficient, and located on a 35-acre campus near Sam Houston Tollway. The company will move out of its current office in 2024. 

Houston-based Buckeye Partners LP plans to develop a large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia production, storage, and export project with its recent acquisition of Bear Head Energy Inc. This project will also have more than two gigawatts of hydrogen electrolyzer capacity. Located on 251 acres of land and a 68-acre water lot on Canada's Atlantic coast, Buckeye expects to create several new energy jobs in Nova Scotia through the Bear Head project.

Two of Houston's largest energy employers, Chevron and Shell, participated in Edmonton, Canada-based Aurora Hydrogen's $10 million Series A funding round. Aurora Hydrogen works to produce hydrogen and solid carbon without consuming water or generating carbon dioxide emissions. These investments will help the development of a demonstration plant in Edmonton capable of producing 200 kilograms of hydrogen per day. 

Comcast recently announced an investment of more than one million dollars to fund community programs and other efforts designed to close the digital divide for low-income residents in Greater Houston. This funding will provide local community organizations with digital skills training, workforce development/readiness workshops, and other tech education for students, adults, and people with disabilities. Organizations receiving funding include United Way, BakerRipley, and more. 

Planning to build its first-ever blue hydrogen plant, ExxonMobil announced its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its integrated refining and petrochemicals site in Baytown, Texas. The CCS Project will be one of the world's largest, with a capacity to store up to 10 million metric tons of CO2 per year. 

Nine startups in Texas have been selected by Google for the inaugural cohort of the Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund, three of which are based in Houston. These companies will receive a $100,000 investment, programming and support, mentorship from technical and business experts, access to free mental health therapy, and much more. This program was originally founded to help provide opportunities and wealth for Latinos in the business community who lack access to funding. 

The Houston Bar Association recognizes organizations and individuals who has shown exceptional commitment and achieved significant progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal field. Houston law firm, Greenburg Traurig won two diversity awards this year, placing in the organization category and the individual category. 

Lee & Associates have partnered with 35 South Capital to purchase an $18.6 million, 150,000-square-foot, nine-story building near the CityCentre. Lee & Associates have plans to move into a full floor of about 17,000 square feet next year. 35 South Capital will move into a 3,000-square-foot space in the building later this year. 

LyondellBasell is considering a plan to expand its advanced recycling capacity at its Houston refinery, which it plans to shut down by the end of 2023. Interim CEO Ken Lane believes this will be the future of the refinery and lead to the company's success. LyondellBasell will spend the next few years researching and developing a plan of action. 

Ensuring its place as a leader within the Houston and global innovation ecosystem, Rice University named Paul Cherukuri, the executive director of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, the inaugural Vice President for Innovation. In this new position, Cherukuri will lead Rice’s technology and commercialization infrastructure, with a focus on technology translation, startup creation, commercialization, entrepreneurship training, and steering engagement at The Ion.

Texas A&M partnered with New York tech company StartupTree to track the performance of startups incubated by the university. StartupTree will create a performance-tracking platform that not only records A&M-born innovations, but also matches these startups with business mentors, legal advisors, and other resources. 

University of Houston's Shaun Zhang, director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling was granted $1.8 million to continue his research in oncolytic virotherapy. This treatment works to create viruses that can kill cancer cells while leaving nearby healthy cells and tissues intact. 

The A.R. “Tony” and Maria J. Sanchez Family Foundation donated $3 million to establish a scholarship endowment for sales and digital marketing students at the University of Houston. When fully funded, the new endowment will support $5,000 scholarships for 30 students each year at Stephen Stagner Sales Excellence Institute, UH's C. T. Bauer College of Business program. Recipients will be chosen with a preference for students of very low-income families.

For the eighth year in a row, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has once again been named the top cancer hospital in the nation according to this year's U.S. News & World Report rankings. In addition to this title, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has also had many other achievements this year including fifth in urology; 13th in diabetes and endocrinology; and 20th in ear, nose, and throat.

If you are a member and want us to help communicate news about your organization, please send a press release or information about the announcement to member.engagement@houston.org and we will share it with our content team for possible inclusion in an upcoming roundup. Learn more about Partnership membership
 

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Partnership Members Making News - September 2022

9/21/22
The Greater Houston Partnership celebrates our members making important announcements and sharing news about their operations and impact in our community. Learn more about some of those announcements over the last month below.  Houston-based energy technology and oil field services giant Baker Hughes is set to acquire a business unit from Sugar Land-based Team Inc. for $280 million in cash. Team Inc.'s Quest Integrity business will be integrated into Baker Hughes' Process & Pipeline Services product line within their digital solutions segment. This deal is set to boost Baker Hughes’ asset-integrity solutions for “difficult to inspect” pipelines and add capability for the inspection of furnace tubes, loading terminals, jet fuel lines and more. A leading global strategy consultancy, BCG has announced its acquisition of Quantis, a pioneering environmental sustainability consultancy guiding many of the world’s largest organizations on their sustainability transformation. Through this deal, BCG and Quantis will lead the global transformation toward a new planetary economy in which business gives nature a seat at the table. Additionally, Quantis will operate as a standalone business unit within BCG and will retain its brand and leadership team. Bridewell, a cyber security services company, announced its expansion into the $58 billion U.S. cyber security market following a multi-million investment from Growth Capital Partners last year. Through this expansion, Bridewell aims to help North American organizations develop robust and resilient cyber security solutions during this time of need for critical national infrastructure security.  HCA Houston Healthcare has completed an 11-month-long $2.7 million expansion project for their North Cypress hospital emergency room. This expansion added 5 new beds, private rooms, and a new scanning system to the ER, allowing more space and organization for speedy and private patient care. Houston METRO will receive $21.6 million from the Federal Transit Administration to aid in the organization’s transition from diesel buses to electric ones. The grant will cover the cost of 20 electric buses as well as the electric charging equipment, ultimately working to reduce emissions for our region. Additionally, the federal funding will help the organization reach it’s goal of fully transitioning to zero-emission vehicles by 2030. Health care provider Kelsey-Seybold announces a five-year expansion plan that will place clinics no more than 10 minutes away from 95 percent of Houstonians. The expected costs on construction alone is over $1 billion. The goal of this expansion is to satisfy a growing demand for services as the region’s population, particularly the elderly population, increases. MD Anderson Cancer Center and a Massachusetts biotechnology company received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to begin testing a new cell therapy treatment on humans for metastatic melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Clinical trials will begin next month. The goal of this treatment aims to avoid life threatening complications associated with similar cell therapies. Shell and Equinor announced plans to collaborate on an application for up to $2 billion in U.S. Department of Energy funding for a hydrogen and carbon capture and storage hub in Appalachia. This means that Shell and Equinor will enter the competition for one of four hydrogen/carbon capture and storage hubs to be funded across the United States under last year's big infrastructure bill. Shell and Exxon Mobil confirmed the sale of their California oil joint-venture Aera Energy to German asset manager IKAV for $4 billion, ending a 25-year-long partnership that was one of the state's largest oil producers. The sale will close this year. Solidatus, a leading data management technology firm, has appointed Co-Founder Philip Dutton as CEO. The move positions the firm to better meet the escalating demand from major global businesses for smarter, more innovative ways to unlock the full potential of their enterprise data.  Spark Spaces, a local startup, is working to elevate the experience of charging electric vehicles by developing luxury waiting spaces at charging stations. Sparks Spaces is currently operating out of The Ion and installed a charging point outside of the building to help collect insights into what drivers are needing and are wanting to learn more about their customer base. The company's goal is to take forgotten buildings an transform them into EV charging hubs.  Houston-based Waste Management, announced that it will acquire a majority stake in Avangard Innovative, a company known for its work in advanced recycling. This partnership will work to create a venture known as Natura PCR and boost the company’s ability to handle hard-to-recycle flexible plastics such as grocery bags, takeout containers and shrink wrap. The deal is expected to close this year. If you are a member and want us to help communicate news about your organization, please send a press release or information about the announcement to member.engagement@houston.org and we will share it with our content team for possible inclusion in an upcoming roundup. Learn more about Partnership membership.   
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