The Ion innovation centre and forthcoming Ion District urban community have joined the Global Network of Innovation Districts, established to provide governments and investors with new insights as they re-energise cities.
The Global Network of Innovation Districts (GIID) has selected Houston’s Midtown innovation ecosystem, the Ion District, as a member of its newly formed collaborative network for global hotspots of innovation.
Developed by GIID, the Global Network of Innovation Districts is a major initiative created to provide governments and investors with new insights and resources on how to support innovation districts as they re-energise cities. Positioned to become engines of economic development, innovation districts have major potential to spur productive, inclusive, and sustainable environments.
The Ion’s inclusion means there are 22 members in the Global Network, including the Pittsburgh Innovation District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cortex Innovation Community in St Louis, Missouri, Tech Central in Sydney, Australia, and Knowledge District Zuidas in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The Ion tech hub and forthcoming Ion District will “engage, collaborate, and contribute mindshare” with innovation districts from across the globe. Additionally, by utilising the organisation’s research to build comprehensive expansion strategies, the district will have an opportunity to validate its value proposition on a global stage.
“GIID’s Global Network is utilising best practices of world-renowned innovation districts to accelerate regional economies. Their focus on placemaking, startup services, and community engagement are some of the critical components that lead to successful districts,” said Bryson Grover, investment manager of Rice Management Company, the developer of the Ion and Ion District.
“As we create quality collaborations between entrepreneurs, corporations, academics, and the community, we are thrilled to be a part of the network and look forward to exchanging ideas with other members and their constituents”
“We are the only venture in Texas accepted into the Global Network to date, which is a testament to our progress and vision. With GIID, we will continue to think creatively about how the built environment and specialised programming can inform future development and allow equitable access to an ever-changing workforce.”
The build-out of the Ion District encompasses more than three million square feet of development, which will occur over the next decade. RMC reports the next building is already under construction and intends for three more to commence in the next year.
In addition to office and research, and development space, the district will include multi-family apartments, retail space, entertainment venues, and several acres of highly programmed, fully public outdoor space.
The anchor of the Midtown innovation district is the Ion, a 266,000 square-foot innovation hub which accommodates multiple uses including class-A office space, shared workspace, prototyping and maker resources, event space, and classrooms.
“The valuable interactions the network provides will help our team build the Ion and Ion District into a globally-minded innovation hub and further cement Houston’s technology ecosystem”
The Global Network’s goal for its members is to accelerate the growth of innovation districts – individually and collectively – through empirical analysis, peer learning, and technical support for implementing new strategies and initiatives in districts and their communities.
Through structured engagement, led by GIID, the Ion and Ion District will leverage insights and best practices on challenges and solutions that other districts have faced in the past or are currently facing.
“As we create quality collaborations between entrepreneurs, corporations, academics, and the community, we are thrilled to be a part of the network and look forward to exchanging ideas with other members and their constituents,” added Jan Odegard, executive director, the Ion.
“The valuable interactions the network provides will help our team build the Ion and Ion District into a globally-minded innovation hub and further cement Houston’s technology ecosystem.”