“I am excited to help move forward and ensure the Ion is a success,” Odegard said. “My interim role is made easier by the fact that everyone involved in the Ion, including Rice Management Co., is focused on making it a success for all Houstonians.”
Odegard will oversee development of the 270,000-square-foot facility, which will support businesses and serve as a hub for entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, corporations and the academic community, according to the announcement. The Ion is only the first phase in the development of the district, which aims to combine commercial development with housing, public spaces and new infrastructure.
The 16-acre innovation and technology district will be located at the site of the former Midtown Sears building in Houston, spearheaded by Rice Management Co., which manages Rice University’s endowment, according to the announcement.
Odegard first joined the Ion in January as the senior director for industry and academic partnerships, according to the announcement, after serving 18 years as executive director of Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute and four years as associate vice president for research computing at Rice.