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 innovators to know, Houston's economic outlook, the latest from the East End Maker Hub, and more.
This week's innovators to know roundup includes Kirsten Siebach of Rice University, Mike Francis of NanoTech Inc., and Kim Raath of Topl. Photos courtesy
In last week's roundup of Houston innovators, I'm introducing you to three innovators across industries — from space exploration to materials science. Continue reading.
Volumetric Biotechnologies has announced its moving its HQ to the East End Maker Hub. Image courtesy of East End Maker Hub
The East End Maker Hub has landed perhaps its most intriguing tenant thus far — a Houston startup that makes 3D-printed human organs.
Volumetric Biotechnologies Inc. has leased 11,200 square feet at the East End Maker Hub to serve as its headquarters and manufacturing center. Jordan Miller, co-founder of Volumetric, says one of the benefits of being located at the hub will be access to a cleanroom operated by Alchemy Industrial, a 3D manufacturer of medical devices. Earlier this year, Houston-based Alchemy leased more than 5,400 square feet at the East End hub.
Volumetric will occupy space in the first phase of the 307,000-square-foot project East End Maker Hub. That phase of the $37 million project is set to open soon. The startup's current 5,000-square-foot headquarters is at 7505 Fannin St., near the Woman's Hospital of Texas and south of the Texas Medical Center. Continue reading.
2021 will be a 'bipolar year' and other key takeaways from the Greater Houston Partnership's economic outlook
The Greater Houston Partnership hosted its annual economic outlook event online — here's what the numbers indicate for Houston business in the new year. Photo via Getty Images
As much of the world is ready to celebrate a new year — one likely to be drastically less affected by COVID-19 — the Greater Houston Partnership released an annual report about what Houston's economy will look like in 2021.
Senior vice president of research Patrick Jankowski and his team put the Houston Region Economic Outlook report together and shared some its highlights at a virtual event hosted by Bob Harvey, president and CEO of GHP.
Of course, much of the study focused on how the coronavirus — as well as the impending vaccine — will affect the region's economy.
"At this point last year, neither Patrick nor any of us could have predicted the arrival of COVID-19 and its devastating impact on the global economy," Harvey says at the event. "Here in Houston COVID wreaked havoc on industries across the spectrum from energy to hospitality." Continue reading.
The University of Houston explores how research is being conducted in the age of the pandemic. Graphic by Miguel Tovar/University of Houston
As far as COVID-19 goes, Level 1 is the worst threat level. Harris County remains at Level 1, or "Severe Threat" for infection of the novel coronavirus. Yet, as they say in the theater, "The show must go on!" And for the most part, research is continuing in many ways. Surveys, interviews and other socially-distanced research has been easy to keep up during the COVID crisis. Continue reading.
The city of Houston has implemented a new free internet program in collaboration with Comcast. Photo via Getty Images
It's an increasingly digital world, and COVID-19 has just accelerated that trend exponentially. Yet, there are still tons of Houstonians operating offline due to socioeconomic inequities.
The Houston City Council recently approved a $624,960 program with funding from the CARES Act to help bridge this gap. The program, by Mayor Sylvester Turner's Health Equity Response (H.E.R.) Task Force in partnership with Comcast, will provide 5,000 internet vouchers to low-income Houstonians. Applications for the vouchers are open from now until December 20, 2020, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. They will provide internet for one calendar year.
"This pandemic has highlighted the importance of quality internet service particularly for those vulnerable populations who must stay at home to stay safe," says Mayor Sylvester Turner in a news release. "This program will provide a lifeline for citizens that have struggled through the pandemic without internet access and a way to stay informed, connected and safe during these challenging times." Continue reading.