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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. 

11,200

The Houston metro has 11,200 installed fiber carrier miles as of Q1/21

$32.6 billion

Retail sales topped $32,6 billion in Q3/21.

8.25%

City of Houston has a combined sales and use tax rate of 8.25 percent

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

Houston Astros’ Entertainment District to Drive Significant Economic Growth

7/19/24
The Houston Astros are set to bolster their role as a major economic driver for the city with a new mixed-use district.   The district, which will feature a 17-story, 300-room hotel and 60,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space adjacent to Minute Maid Park, is expected to generate $5.7 billion in economic impact over 20 years, according to the Houston Business Journal. Announced last year, the project is part of a larger initiative to transform downtown into a premier entertainment destination like those around other MLB ballparks such as The Battery Atlanta and Ballpark Village in St. Louis.  Click to expand The project also includes plans for a three-story building that will serve as a gathering space for game day watch parties and live music events. The space will feature a large outdoor screen where fans can watch the Astros and other Houston teams such as the Texans and Rockets, as well as other major sporting events. It will also be enclosed by glass windows overlooking the ballpark that can open during pleasant weather.  "Our goal is it's an attractive area year-round, not just on game days, and it'll be a really great, happening venue," said Giles Kibbe, the Astros' senior vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "If you want to go to a public place to watch a sporting event, this is going to be the spot to go to."  Hines, the Houston real estate firm responsible for the Toyota Center, will develop the district. Meanwhile, Dallas-based HKS Architects, known for designing the Texas Rangers' Globe Life Field, is creating the master plan for the project. Construction on the district is expected to begin in 2025 and span three years, with an estimated cost of $327 million.  This significant investment comes as Houston's growing prominence as an international sports city takes center stage, highlighted by its success in securing major sporting events such as the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2025, 2027 and 2031 AAU Junior Olympic Games. The district will further strengthen the city’s reputation as an entertainment destination, drawing even more visitors downtown.   Learn more about living in Houston.  
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Economic Development

Houston Remains Top Texas City in New National Ranking

6/27/24
Houston has once again topped the rankings of an annual list of America’s Best Cities, claiming first in the state and No. 10 in the nation, surpassing Dallas and Austin.  The report, compiled by international consulting firm Resonance, ranks cities with a population of more than 500,000 based on livability, lovability and prosperity. The Bayou City has consistently ranked high on Resonance’s list over the years, placing No. 9 in 2023 and No. 11 in 2022, drawing praise for its cultural diversity, award-winning restaurant scene, number of Fortune 500 companies and quality of life.  Houston’s population gains can be attributed to its quality of life and strong economy. According to a Greater Houston Partnership analysis, Houston added nearly 140,000 residents in 2023, marking the second highest population growth among U.S. metros.  “Austin may get the attention, but the promise of the Lone Star State drawing Californians and New Yorkers is quietly being fulfilled in Houston,” the report stated.  This year’s report again recognizes Houston as one of the most diverse cities in the nation, with one in four residents being foreign-born and over 145 languages spoken, earning it the No. 21 spot in the report’s Culture category. The report also highlights the city's wealth of international festivals, world-class museums and cultural centers, including the new Ismaili Center set to open next year.  Houston’s dining scene ranked fourth in the report’s restaurant subcategory, ahead of popular foodie destinations including San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami. The city earned acclaim for its diverse blend of dishes, described in the report as “Southern Soul and barbecue with Mexican that’s then seasoned with global cuisine.” Earlier this year, 11 Houston restaurants and chefs were named semifinalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards.   The report also applauded Houston’s robust economy, ranking No. 3 in the country for the number of Fortune 500 companies and patents. Houston is home to 26 Fortune 500 companies, making it the third-largest hub for Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation. As a hub for business development and opportunity, Houston was also recently named the best city to grow a business, according to a new study by The RevOps Team.  Additionally, Resonance recognized the Bayou City for its leadership in the global energy transition, with an estimated $250 billion in potential investment in the region over the next 15 years, according to a recent McKinsey report. The report also highlighted Houston’s reputation as Space City, noting key facilities and investments such as the Houston Spaceport, which is anchored by NASA-contract-winning companies Axiom Space, Collins Aerospace and Intuitive Machines.  Learn more about living in Houston.  
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Related Events

Economic Development

Houston Region Economic Outlook

Featuring economists and industry leaders, the Houston Region Economic Outlook takes a close look at the core industries driving job growth and economic indicators measuring the strength of our economy.…

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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