University of Houston receives nearly $3M grant for Tech Bridge upgrades
The University of Houston's Technology Bridge, which focuses on providing research and development space to UH-affiliated startups and entrepreneurs, has received funding to work on some upgrades.
UH received $2.875 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through a Community Project Funding award was included in an appropriations bill by U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia, who represents the region where the Tech Bridge resides.
“Congresswoman Garcia was instrumental in making this funding a reality and we are incredibly grateful for her support and for promoting the innovation ecosystem in the Houston region,” says University of Houston President Renu Khator in a news release. “The Technology Bridge is a growing community of innovators that supports the overall economic health of Houston while creating new opportunities in academia and industry."
Most of the grant will be put toward the UH Industry & International Innovation Hub, or UHI3, a rising center that will provide space for industry partner engagement, an investor and mentoring studio, startup space, training rooms, and innovation event space. The center will also have satellite office for UH’s Small Business Development Center.
The rest of the funding — $475,000 of the grant — will establish The Deck Innovation & Coworking Center, which will include eight new private offices and mail lockers for startups. According to UH, the project is expected to increase capacity by more than 20 companies.
“I am proud to have secured these funds for the University of Houston Technology Bridge. Through this investment, our community will grow stronger, and our economy will be bolstered,” says Rep. Garcia in the release. “Engagement between universities and industry is a priority as we prepare our students to be the workforce of tomorrow in a rapidly evolving world.
"The University of Houston is a world-class institution deserving of our full support, and these federal dollars are proof of that," she continues. "I am proud to represent so many UH students and faculty in Congress and will always fight to get them the resources they need to be on the cutting edge of innovation.”
Currently, the 15-building Tech Bridge and its 31,000 square feet of incubator space houses more than 20 small companies and startups that provide internship and learning opportunities for UH students, along with several federally funded research centers and institutes. The new funding will allow for the Tech Bridge to expand its impact.
“This funding will result in stronger academic and external partnerships, promote key, nationally relevant research and strengthen industry connections for our students,” says Ramanan Krishnamoorti, vice president of energy and innovation at UH. “But most importantly, it will provide an economic catalyst for startups and small businesses in the underserved communities located near the University of Houston.”