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The Houston Technology Center (HTC) and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) have formed a strategic partnership to further expand HTC’s mission of accelerating the growth of emerging technology companies in the Houston region and to develop the insights required to support NASA’s long-term goals of increasing private/public collaboration. NRG Energy – a strong supporter of Houston’s business community and diversified energy company – stepped up to support the effort with a $25,000 donation.
“We are excited to partner with NASA Johnson Space Center in an effort to foster entrepreneurial opportunities to the transitioning workforce in the Bay Area. The combination of NASA’s incredible technologies and HTC’s powerful entrepreneurial resources presents the potential for immense economic development,” said Walter Ulrich, President and CEO of Houston Technology Center. “We want to keep these brilliant minds here and help them create new commercial ventures leveraging their unique expertise.”
“This partnership will provide an enabling environment where commercial capabilities can develop at the Johnson Space Center,” said JSC Director Michael L. Coats. ”Increasing business opportunities through sustainable technologies not only boosts the entrepreneurial spirit of the region, but contributes to the local economy.”
HTC is committed to growing a sustainable entrepreneurial network that will benefit the surrounding Bay Area for years to come including its future missions beyond low earth orbit. Along with the other activities to support the existing expertise in the JSC community, HTC will seed the future workforce through its close ties with the major universities and with Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) programs and objectives.
“Putting experienced talent to work in technology ventures is a tremendous benefit to our community,” said John Ragan, NRG Energy Executive Vice President and Gulf Coast Region President. “We are proud to help advance this important work that the Houston Technology Center and NASA are doing to expand and create jobs in our region.”
HTC will provide local assistance on the JSC campus to early stage companies and burgeoning entrepreneurs, with the support of strategic partners, expert advisors and the extensive HTC community to take their innovative ideas and develop the strategy for translating them into successful businesses.
“The business community applauds the commitment of the Houston Technology Center and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in spurring the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the Houston region a great place to grow jobs and capital investment,” said Greater Houston Partnership President & CEO Jeff Moseley. “This powerful partnership gives all you who call the Houston area home an unfair advantage in making money.”
The Houston Technology Center has extended its operations by opening a satellite office at the Johnson Space Center. To date, HTC has signed two new clients: Dreamsaver whose co-founder and CEO is a former NASA shuttle astronaut, and Chandah, a new commercial space company focused on small satellites and increasing student experiments on the International Space Station, and on encouraging Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
“HTC would like to express its gratitude to NRG Energy for their generous donation in support of this initiative, as well as to Reliant, NRG’s subsidiary and our official electricity supplier,” Ulrich stated.
Earlier this year, Reliant and HTC entered into a new, two-year strategic partnership with the company providing $50,000 to help further expand HTC’s mission of accelerating the growth of emerging technology companies in the Houston region. Since 2011, NRG Energy and Reliant have contributed $175,000 to support the work of HTC.