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Ion, Rice’s Office of Innovation and Second Draught Launch New Research Showcase Program to Connect Academia and Industry

by Ion

Ion, Houston’s innovation hub, in partnership with Second Draught, a locally brewed craft beer pub located in the Ion, today announced a new biweekly lecture series, Ion Innovation on Tap: Disruptive Technology. The series focuses on bridging world-leading academic research to Houston’s broader innovation ecosystem and accelerating disruption and collaboration at an industrial scale. In partnership with Rice University’s Office of Innovation, lectures will be held every other Thursday throughout the year and will initially feature acclaimed faculty and scientists from Rice. Future programming will expand to present both academic and notable industry speakers.

Ion Innovation on Tap: Disruptive Technology or “Innovation on Tap” will showcase advanced technology and innovation from research conducted in a variety of spaces, including academic, industry, and government labs. The goal of the series is to present developments that are frequently buried in technical and inaccessible journals or conference proceedings to the Ion’s tenants, corporate partners, and broader Houston business and entrepreneurship community in an accessible, short lecture (TED-style) format to promote the cross-sector collaboration Ion strives to facilitate.

Following the lecture, Innovation on Tap will host a networking event for attendees at Second Draught, as it also aims to build lasting connections and partnerships that not only accelerate translation and commercialization but drive future advancements needed to address real-world problems. The Ion and its ecosystem are currently focusing on addressing issues and finding solutions for: decarbonization, sustainable energy futures, personalized and affordable health care and sustainable, livable communities

“The series serves as a microscope to connect fundamental research and technology to the people and organizations that can benefit from it and help progress and activate the technology,” explains Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director of the Ion. “Ion Innovation on Tap is one of the first steps we’re taking this year to open the door for cross-sector collaboration between academia and business.”

Recent Past and Upcoming Lectures:

Innovation on Tap kicked off on January 30, with lectures taking place every other Thursday at 4:00 pm CT. The program includes a 30-minute presentation with a subject matter expert presenting their recent research and time for networking at Second Draught, bringing life to the name “Innovation on Tap.” Upcoming programming will dive into the latest advancements in disruptive technologies such as AI and machine learning, robotics, medical devices, synthetic biology, neuro-engineering, nano-materials, cybersecurity, imaging, blockchain and quantum computing.

● Past lectures

○ January 30: Preempting future pandemics: piecing together infectious disease outbreak puzzles with Todd Treangen, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Rice University

○ February 9: Industry 4.0 Disruption with Fred Higgs III, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership, Rice University

● Future lectures

○ February 23: A Lecture About the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics with Dr. Kaden Hazzard, Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Rice University

■ Dr. Hazard will explore experiments that unveiled the quantum world and how physicists now harness it to create technology such as quantum computers.

○ March 9: Nanotechnologies transitioning to commercial applications: Flash Graphene, Laser-Induced Graphene, and Molecular Nanomachines for Medicine with James Tour, T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Rice University

■ Professor Tour will discuss routes and applications for flash and laser-induced graphene and the use of molecular nanomachines as the technology is moving into medical applications.

○ March 23: Kirsten L. Siebach, Assistant Professor, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University

○ April 6: Aditya Mohite, Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Nanoengineering, Rice University

○ April 20: Leonardo Duenas-Osorio, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University

○ May 4: Naomi J. Halas, Stanley C. Moore Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Director, Smalley-Curl Institute and Director, Laboratory for Nanophotonics, Rice University To register or learn more, visit the Ion’s event page here.

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.