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Forbes Magazine ranks Houston as “Top 5 Up & Coming” Tech City in U.S.

Forbes Magazine has ranked Houston as the #4 Up and Coming Tech City in the United States, based on research looking at regional innovation trends in an article released this week.
 
The article highlighted itRobotics and NanoSpectra Biosciences, Houston start-up companies that were founded based on innovations at Rice University and licensed through the Rice Office of Technology Transfer. Both companies were past presenters and participants at a Rice Alliance Technology Venture Forum. The Rice Alliance, Rice University's flagship initiative devoted to the support of technology entrepreneurship, is a collaboration among the Jones Graduate School of Management, the Brown School of Engineering, and the Wiess School of Natural Science.
 
According to Forbes: “Houston's itRobotics, founded in 2002, has developed new cost-cutting robots that inspect a variety of boilers and energy pipelines for structural flaws.” itRobotics’ inspection device was designed by Dr. Fathi Ghorbel, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University.
 
itRobotics is commercializing a state-of-the art robotic inspection device that can wind its way through conduit to detect the condition and quality of pipelines and tubing. Its state-of-the-art features include a sustainable on-board energy source, tether-free operation, miniaturized on-board sensors and on-board data processing and storage.
 
Also according to Forbes: “Nanospectra Biosciences, a local drug delivery company, is working on a nano-scale particle (pioneered at Rice University) that destroys cancerous tumors. The particles are injected in the bloodstream and accumulate inside cancerous tumors. When the tumor is exposed to a laser, the particles absorb the near-infrared light and convert it into thermal energy, destroying the tumor.”
 
AuroShell™ microparticles were developed in the laboratories of Naomi Halas, Ph.D., at Rice University in the 1990s. In collaboration with Jennifer West, Ph.D., of Rice University, a series of life science applications were envisioned which led to the formation of Nanospectra BioSciences.
 
The Forbes rankings were based on looking at specific areas of science that most experts consider today's most promising frontiers of innovation. The research looked at the number of the most valuable patents filed in each technical area for each city.