Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK Secretary of State makes her first visit to Houston to boost state-level science and technology ties [November 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 16 November 2023.

The Right Honourable Michelle Donelan MP, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology visits Space City to promote UK innovation and advance UK-TX collaboration with Texas industry leaders.

HOUSTON, TX., Nov. 16, 2023 – The Rt. Hon. Michelle Donelan MP visited Houston yesterday (Wednesday, Nov. 15.) as part of a multi-state tour of the US to boost science, innovation and technology ties with individual US states.

Earlier this year the Secretary of State launched the UK’s International Technology Strategy which sets out how the UK will work with its international partners and allies to support our shared growth, address global challenges and build momentum behind a digital and tech future that reflects our values. The US is a key ally in delivering this strategy, and as part of this visit the Secretary of State started her US tour on Monday in Washington, DC and will continue on to San Francisco and Seattle later this week.

In Houston, she met with senior stakeholders including HPE and NASA to promote the UK technology and aerospace industries as well as the UK’s commitment to even greater links with Texas, the second largest and fastest growing state in the US.

At the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the Secretary of State met the latest cohort of UK-based companies participating in the TMC Innovation accelerator as part of the Innovate UK Global Incubator Programme. This programme supports innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow and scale through exploring the potential of global markets. During the meeting, she also highlighted the upcoming Demo Day on Thursday, November 16, where each cohort member will present their groundbreaking ideas. This event provides a platform for engaging with TMC’s eminent scientists, funders, and healthcare professionals, contributing to the advancement of healthcare, research, and education.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan said:

When it comes to science and tech collaboration, Great Britain has no closer ally than our friends and partners in the USA.

As the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Texas is one of the birthplaces of space exploration, as well as a major player in modern space, and there is huge potential in the partnerships and innovations that it can collaborate on with the UK.

So I am here to share our success story with companies, lawmakers and industry, and to champion Britain as the top-class breeding ground for innovation that it is.

His Britannic Majesty’s Consul General in Texas, Richard Hyde said:

Earlier this year the US and UK signed the Atlantic Declaration which acknowledges our two countries joint leadership in science and technology. I am delighted that the Secretary of State has recognised that you cannot understand the US science and innovation landscape without seeing firsthand the Texas miracle.

Innovate UK Deputy Director – Global, Janet Geddes, said:

Innovate UK is committed to empowering our businesses to thrive globally. By facilitating access to international innovation opportunities, we aim to not only support our businesses in succeeding on the international stage but also to foster deep and enduring partnerships with key countries like the US. Houston, with its gateway to over 1,760 life sciences companies, cutting-edge healthcare facilities, and world-renowned research institutions, stands as a prime example of our strategic approach.