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Innovation

Houston is where innovation and industry converge. Ours is a city that chooses to take humankind's boldest challenges head-on, from landing on the moon to developing the first artificial heart. And Houston's innovation ecosystem continues to thrive through programs like TMC Innovation Institute at the Texas Medical Center and spaces like the emerging Innovation District. 

18

Houston is home to 18 Forbes Global 2000 headquarters

3.8 million square feet

Retail market has absorbed 3.8 million sq. ft. over the past 12 months.

$1.95 billion

Venture capital funding in Houston for the 4-qtrs ending Q4/22

Innovation Corridor

Houston’s Innovation Corridor is at the center of an extraordinarily powerful social and economic convergence. The four-mile-long Corridor is linked by light-rail, bike lanes, and pedestrian thoroughfares, and offers easy access to key industry and institutional players along with an unparalleled array of amenities. It runs from Downtown on the north end, south through Midtown, the Museum District and the Texas Medical Center. 

 

Innovation District

Rice University is currently developing a new innovation district in Midtown. Housed on a 16-acre site anchored by a former Sears building, the hub will bring the area's entrepreneurial, corporate and academic communities together. The nucleus of the Innovation District is The Ion, a nearly 300,000-square-foot structure that serves as a collaborative space for businesses at all stages of the innovation lifecycle. A number of companies and nonprofits have taken up residence in the development.

Houston Tech and Innovation Conversations at SXSW

A Data-Driven Look at Houston's Innovation Ecosystem

The Partnership's Josh Pherigo takes a data-driven look at the current trends in the startup space and the Houston region's momentum in building a thriving innovation ecosystem.

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The Power of Diversity in Innovation

Jan Odegard of The Ion and Ashley DeWalt of DivInc Houston talk about the power of diversity within innovation.

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Corporate Partnerships Drive Innovation in Life Sciences

Fiona Mack of JLABS at TMC discusses how Houston is quickly emerging as a hub for life sciences innovation.

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The Houston Tech Report

This report outlines the tremendous growth in Houston’s tech ecosystem in recent years as evidenced by the expanding workforce as well as startup and venture capital activity. The report also highlights the region’s unique strengths in the sector. 

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Houston Exponential

Houston Exponential is a dynamic organization that serves, organizes, champions and grows the region’s innovation ecosystem. HX is accelerating the development of Houston’s innovation economy, fostering a robust ecosystem that supports high-growth, high-impact startups. HX works to convene the ecosystem, helping to build an innovation district in Houston and attracting talent to the region and promoting Houston’s image, both locally and nationally, as a vibrant, innovative economy where startups thrive.

Houston's Innovation Partners

Related News

Economic Development

Texas Dominates Business Attraction, Houston Remains a Top Leader

3/1/24
The Houston region has once again ranked third among top U.S. metros for attracting new business, according to Site Selection Magazine’s yearly analysis, while Texas earned its 12th consecutive Governor’s Cup.  “The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” said Mark Arend, editor emeritus of Site Selection.  Site Selection identified 1,254 project wins for Texas in 2023, more than doubling the next-highest state, Illinois. With 226 more projects than 2022, Texas saw a 22% increase in projects. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA won 413 projects, an uptick of more than 150 since 2022. Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth placed first and second, respectively, in the top U.S. metros category.  "We are excited to see Texas continues to be the leading State for corporate relocations and expansions," said Partnership Vice President of Regional Economic Development Craig Rhodes. "Houston’s ranking as a top three metro further highlights the unique opportunity we have in our region for companies to access diverse talent, critical infrastructure, and the convergence of industries to grow their business on a global scale." Here is a look at a few of the notable project wins in 2023 for the Houston area:  Cart.com, an e-commerce unicorn that returned to Houston from Austin in efforts to scale its business. The move highlighted the value in Houston’s transportation infrastructure and accessibility, as well as its large and diverse talent pool.  Packgene Biotech, a CRO and CDMO company founded in Massachusetts, which broke ground on its 22,000 square feet cGMP manufacturing facility in 2023. This facility will create up to 80 jobs with $20 million invested. They are already in the expansion process to grow the facility to 35,000 square feet. This project will accelerate gene therapy product development by providing a fully integrated one-stop solution for clients.  Sumika Semiconductor Materials, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical, is building a high-purity semiconductor process chemical manufacturing plant in the Houston region. The project includes an investment of $250 million and will create 50 jobs in the region.  SEG Solar, a solar panel manufacturing company, is slated to open its 145,000 square feet Houston facility by mid-2024. The project is projected to create 500 jobs with a capital investment of $60 million. The move reinforces Houston’s status as Energy Capital of the World.   In an interview with Site Selection Magazine, Governor Greg Abbott pointed to the state’s pro-business environment as to why companies keep choosing to relocate or expand their businesses in Texas.  “Industry-leading CEOs cite our pro-growth economic policies — with no corporate income tax and no personal income tax — along with our strong and growing workforce, easy access to global markets, robust infrastructure, and business-friendly regulations, "Abbott said.  The state’s new economic incentives program will be a critical tool in attracting new companies to the region. The Texas Jobs Energy, Technology, and Innovation, or JETI, program, replaces Chapter 313, which sunset in 2022.   Learn more on why companies continue to choose Houston. 
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Economic Development

Bridgeland’s 925-Acre Urban District Taking Shape, Driving Growth in Cypress

2/29/24
A groundbreaking 925-acre urban district situated in the heart of Bridgeland, Cypress’ massive master-planned community, is beginning to take shape as construction commences on its mixed-use development.   Spanning 70-acres, Village Green at Bridgeland Central aims to redefine Houston’s Northwest market, offering more than 28,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, as well as a 100,000-square-foot H-E-B and 49,000-square-foot sustainable office building dubbed One Bridgeland Green.    Click to expand According to Bridgeland’s website, One Bridgeland Green will be the region’s first mass timber office development. Designed to reduce 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of its annual water consumption, the building sets a new standard for the future of eco-friendly workspaces.   Village green will service nearby residents of the district’s already developed apartment complex Starling at Bridgeland, which opened in 2022, and its 150-unit townhome community Highland Homes.   Click to expand Although its urban district is still in the early stages of development, Bridgeland has been steadily evolving since 2003. The 11,500-acre master-planned community has since garnered significant acclaim for its array of residences, schools and abundance of outdoor amenities.   Ranking amongst the top five bestselling master-planned communities in the nation, Bridgeland has witnessed a remarkable surge in new home sales, reaching a 74 percent increase year-over-year, according to real estate consultant firm RCLCO. With this momentum, the community is poised to reach its full build-out potential, accommodating an estimated 70,000 residents in the near future.  As Bridgeland continues to revolutionize living in greater Houston, the community's innovative and family-friendly landscape draws the attention of businesses, developers and new residents, driving substantial growth to the area.   According to Community Impact’s analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Cy-Fair grew by more than 52,000 residents from 2016-2021, marking a 9.4 percent increase in five years.  To accommodate growth, the Grand Parkway from I-10 to U.S. 290, which opened in 2013, is expected to be widen in 2026, improving mobility. Cy-Fair ISD is also responding to the increasing demand for education services by opening two new schools.   Click to expand As developers add more homesites and mixed-use developments to the area, companies are taking note in hopes of establishing a presence where people can live and work. Last year, Chevron acquired more than 77 acres of undeveloped land in Bridgeland for a possible research and development campus.  “Chevron is attracted to the opportunities Bridgeland has to offer and views this acquisition as a strong addition to our asset portfolio,” Daniel Abate, head of Chevron’s corporate real estate, told the Houston Chronicle.  Discover more about Houston’s neighborhoods and communities.  
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Related Events

Economic Development

Upskill Works

The Greater Houston Partnership invites you to a symposium of local Hydrogen workforce and upskilling opportunities and funding, featuring conversations with key industry and education players.

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Additional Resources

See below for additional resources in Innovation. 

Need more information about Innovation in Houston? Your dedicated team member can help:

  • Assist in site selection analysis
  • Assist in evaluating and applying for incentives
  • Aid in the permitting process
  • Provide data on key business facilities
  • Facilitate and foster key introductions
Looking for the rest of our team?
Partnership Staff
Have someone from our Innovation Strategy Office contact you:
Executive Partners