5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note:Another week has come and gone, and it's time to round up the top headlines from the past few days. Trending Houston tech and startup news on InnovationMap included a new autonomous truck route, three Houston innovators to know, and more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Emmanuel Urquieta of TRISH, Ariel Jones of Qualtrics XM, and Lawson Gow of Pokatok. Photos courtesy
In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from space health research to sports tech — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Read more.
This autonomous freight delivery provider has entered the Texas market. Photo via VAS
A global car brand has expanded its autonomous transport-as-a-service company to Texas.
Volvo Autonomous Solutions, or VAS, announced it has established an office in Fort Worth to set up its first self-driving freight corridors between Dallas-Fort Worth and El Paso, as well as from Dallas to Houston. Ahead of commercial launch, VAS has started hauling freight for key customers like DHL and Uber Freight for testing purposes.
"At Volvo Autonomous Solutions, we believe the path to autonomy at scale is through reducing the friction and complications around ownership and operations for customers," says Nils Jaeger, president of VAS, in a news release. "This is why we have taken the decision to be the single interface to our customers and take full ownership of the elements required for commercial autonomous transport. With the opening of our office in Texas and start of operational activities, we are building the foundations for a transport solution that will change the way we move goods on highways." Read more.
OncoResponse in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center received a portion of $73 million the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has doled out this spring. Photo via oncoresponse.com
A biotech company has landed a more than $13 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
The nearly $13.3 million grant given to OncoResponse — which is relocating from Seattle to Houston, according to CPRIT's news release — will help the company develop fully human monoclonal antibodies for treatment of cancer that otherwise would not respond to immunotherapy. OncoResponse already has a partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is one of the company’s investors.
“We are thrilled to receive this recognition from CPRIT in supporting the potential of our immunotherapy candidate OR502. We greatly appreciate the additional support from our investors as we continue to make significant progress with our drug development efforts advancing immunotherapies derived from clues of Elite Responders,” says Clifford Stocks, CEO of OncoResponse, in a news release. Read more.
Students from the University of Houston are celebrating a win at a national competition focused on carbon innovation. Photo via UH.edu
A team of students from the University of Houston have placed in the top three teams for a national competition for the Department of Energy.
The inaugural American-Made Carbon Management Collegiate Competition, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, or FECM, tasked the student teams with "proposing regional carbon networks capable of transporting at least one million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year from industrial sources," according to a news release from DOE.
“With this competition, DOE hopes to inspire the next generation of carbon management professionals to develop carbon dioxide transport infrastructure that will help drive technological innovation and emissions reductions, new regional economic development, and high-wage employment for communities across the United States,” Brad Crabtree, assistant secretary of fossil energy and carbon management at DOE, says in the release. Read more.
Houston-area Ad Astra Rocket Company, which is working on a technology that could increase the speed of space travel, received fresh funding from NASA. Photo via NASA.gov
Almost 100 small businesses with aerospace technology received the greenlight from NASA on their proposals for grant funding.
NASA approved 112 proposals from 92 small businesses in April. These businesses will receive a slice of the $98 million Phase II funding from the Small Business Innovation Research program. The early-stage $850,000 SBIR grants allow awardees to build on their success from the program's first phase. The firms will have 24 months to execute on their proposals with the fresh funding.
“These Phase II awards support a breadth of technologies that have the potential to be transformational for so many different projects and missions across NASA,” says Jenn Gustetic, director of early stage innovation and partnerships for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, in a news release. Read more.
- University of Houston plans to build new central campus innovation hub ›
- University of Houston team places in prestigious DOE collegiate challenge ›
- Seattle biotech co. to move to Houston thanks to $13.3M grant from Texas organization ›
- Volvo's self-driving tech company opens Texas office, announces Dallas-Houston freight ›