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All News Building Resources, Press Release

Aramco Joins The Ion as a Founding Partner to Advance Houston’s Innovation Community

by Ion

Aramco Americas, the U.S. subsidiary of energy leader Aramco, has joined as a founding partner of The Ion, Houston’s newly opened innovation hub. Together, The Ion and Aramco Americas will create opportunities ranging from education to events to workforce development to advance energy transition and Houston’s tech economy over the next three years.

Aramco Americas (“Aramco”) is partnering with The Ion to share culture and best practices of innovation, knowledge gained from its global research and development network, and experience with early-stage, high-growth technology companies. Through its corporate venture capital arm, Aramco will further support The Ion’s mission as a global technology hub and empower local entrepreneurs and workforce.

“The addition of Aramco as a Founding Partner of The Ion is another step forward in the realization of our vision of The Ion as a globally connected innovation hub that brings new possibilities to the people of Houston,” Rice President David Leebron said. “We know the aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs of Houston will benefit from Aramco’s engagement, for which we are grateful.”

“I am excited to welcome Aramco as a Founding Partner to expand Houston’s technology and innovation ecosystem,” said Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director, The Ion. “Aramco’s involvement not only enables us to continue expanding our support toward inclusive and sustainable economic growth, but expand our reach globally, amplifying Houston as a high-growth technology ecosystem for energy, health, manufacturing, space, and transportation.”

Rice University Provost Reginald DesRoches added, “Innovation hubs such as The Ion are critical for creating more diverse and equitable economies. Partnering with Aramco Americas ensures The Ion and Rice can better deliver on this promise for the good of all Houstonians and we’re excited to come together and demonstrate our vested interest in evolving Houston’s economy.”

As part of its partnership with The Ion, Aramco has appointed Jim Sledzik, Managing Director, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, North America to The Ion Leadership Advisory Roundtable to help shape programming and offer insights on strategic direction. The organization will also actively participate in The Ion Prototyping Lab and The Ion Investor Studio to interact with entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, and venture capitalists to drive innovation and accelerate and grow the innovation ecosystem.

The Ion is the anchor of the 16-acre transformational, mixed-use development in Houston’s Ion District. The Ion’s other founding partners are Baker Botts, Microsoft, and Chevron Technology Ventures.

“Aramco’s commitment to innovation is reflected throughout our business operations,” said Nabeel I. AlAfaleg, President & Chief Executive Officer, Aramco Americas. “Partnerships like The Ion accelerate innovation, champion new ideas, and build a culture to address global energy challenges.”

About the Ion

Ion: Where ideas go to grow. Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

About Aramco Americas Aramco Services Company (d/b/a Aramco Americas) is the U.S.-based subsidiary of Aramco, a world leader in integrated energy and chemicals, and has had a presence in the U.S. for more than 60 years. Aramco Americas is a contributor to the U.S. energy sector through research and development, venture fund activities, asset ownership, as well as technology and digital transformation. The company is headquartered in Houston, and maintains offices in New York, Washington D.C., Boston, and Detroit. Aramco Americas is committed to being a positive contributor in the communities where its employees live and work, and to making a difference through outreach that benefits the arts, geosciences, education, and the environment. americas.aramco.com