3 Houston innovators to know this week
Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from space tech to health care innovation — recently making headlines in Houston innovation.
Nick Skytland, chief technologist at NASA Johnson Space Center, joins the Houston Innovators Podcast. Photo via LinkedIn
For most people, it might be pretty hard to envision a future where astronauts are living on the moon or even Mars in the next few decades, but Nick Skytland, chief technologist at NASA Johnson Space Center, says he sees that future pretty clearly.
Since its inception in 1958, NASA has achieved many milestones, from the from putting the first man in orbit to having astronauts live in space for over 20 years consecutively. But it's a new era for NASA — and its commercial partners.
"What has changed in the past decade or so is that space flight is no longer just a government focus," Skytland says on the Houston Innovators Podcast. "We have an entire space industry that's growing and starting to thrive in the United States, and that's an important part of our strategy going forward." Read more.
Houston-based energy tech investor Neal Dikeman writes his observations on Houston's venture capital and startup community's growth — in stark comparison of Silicon Valley's recent evolution. Photo via LinkedIn
In his guest column for InnovationMap, Neal Dikeman, a Houston-based energy transition investor, shares how Houston's innovation ecosystem differs from Silicon Valley these days. While deemed a newer ecosystem, there appears to be a growing amount of activity in and around the Ion, where Dikeman works out of. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley is pretty quiet.
"Founders are learning that Houston’s venture investment and tech scene has an actual home these days, and is open for business," he writes in the column. Read more.
Mayor Sylvester Turner, TMC CEO Bill McKeon, Governor Greg Abbott, and others gave their remarks at the TMC3 Collaborative Building opening. Photo via tmc.edu
For nearly a decade, thee Texas Medical Center and its partners have been working on the plans for Helix Park, a 37-acre campus expansion of TMC. As of this week, the first building has opened its doors to the public.
The TMC3 Collaborative Building officially opened today to a crowd of media, public officials, and health care executives. The institutional agnostic, 250,000-square-foot building will anchor Helix Park and house research initiatives from the four founding partners: Texas Medical Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
“Today, we lay the cornerstone of a new campus fully dedicated to streamlining the commercialization of life-changing innovations in medicine and technologies,” William McKeon, president and CEO of TMC, says at the event. “We are incredibly excited to both welcome our founding institutions and industry partners to the Collaborative Building and to invite the community to experience the Helix Park campus and its beautiful parks with a series of special events in the months ahead."Read more.