- Houston Advanced Research Center
company_name = Houston Advanced Research Center
The Woodlands, Texas, USA 1982
The Woodlands, Texas
George P. Mitchell, Founderand Robert C. Harriss, President
Sustainable development Policy analysis Research and development
revenue = $20 million by 2008
num_employees = approximately 45
slogan = "Moving knowledge to action"
homepage = [http://www.harc.edu www.harc.edu] The Houston Advanced Research Center, commonly referred to as HARC, is a
501(c)(3) not-for-profitorganization based in The Woodlands, Texasdedicated to improving human and ecosystem well-being through the application of sustainability science and principles of sustainable development. HARC employs a staff of about 45 researchers and administrators. Revenues are projected to reach $20 million by 2008, primarily derived from projects supported by government agencies, foundations and corporations.citeweb|url=http://www.harc.edu/About|title=About HARC|publisher=The Houston Advanced Research Center|date=2007-01-23|accessdate=2007-08-02]
After founding The Woodlands in 1974, billionaire philanthropist
George P. Mitchellbegan discussions with local universities including Texas A&M University, Rice University, and the University of Houstonin order to establish a center in basic, applied, and policy research. A feasibility study was conducted by Arthur D. Little, Inc., and it was concluded that The Woodlands would be a suitable site for such a facility. Mr. Mitchell then founded the research center in 1982, then named the Houston Area Research Center.
HARC’s first research program, a laser study of materials, was sponsored by the
Strategic Defense Initiativeprogram in 1983. The following year in 1984, the University of Texasjoined the HARC Consortium which already included the original universities that Mr. Mitchell had sought out. In 1985, an act of the Texas Legislature created HARC's Geotechnology Research Institute (GTRI), to improve technology used in oil and gas exploration. That same year the Center for Global Studies was merged into HARC as an operating division. The Center organized the Woodlands Conferences, managed the Mitchell Prize competition, and developed field work in Houston, the Rio Grande and Northeast Brazil. In 1986, NECchose HARC for the location of its NEC SX-2, its first supercomputer in North America.
The Houston Area Research Center changed its name to what HARC is presently known to stand for – The Houston Advanced Research Center – in 1990. Construction of HARC's
microwave imagingfacility was completed the following year. New laboratories were opened for DNA technology and geographical information systems. In 1993, HARC researchers in the high-baytest facility set a world record for the highest current through a super-conducting cable. Working together with Varian Instruments, HARC produced the world’s first actively shielded magnet for NMR spectroscopyto The University of TexasMedical Branch in Galvestonin 1995.
After a review of HARC programs, in 2000 HARC leaders decided to narrow the focus of the organization. HARC was restructured to be an organization dedicated entirely to the application and development of sustainability science at the regional level. Since 2000, HARC’s six core programs have grown and its revenues have increased four-fold. In 2005, George P. Mitchell established the Endowment for Regional Sustainability Science, which provides stable income for HARC’s continuing operations.citeweb|url=http://www.harc.edu/About/History|title=History|Publisher=Houston Advanced Research Center|date=2006-04-17|accessdate=2007-08-06|]
# Air & Climate
# Built Environment
# Clean Energy
# Ecosystems & Water
# Environmental Health
Air & Climate
HARC's Air Quality & Climate Program includes efforts in several areas: air quality research and management; air emissions technologies; urban heat island mitigation planning; scenario building for transportation and air quality; the links between air quality and human health; air quality and the built environment; and regional impacts and solutions related to climate change. HARC also serves as Research Management Organization to the
Texas Environmental Research Consortiumto advise policy decisions regarding air and climate.citeweb|url=http://www.harc.edu/OurWork/AirClimate|title=Air & Climate|publisher=Houston Advanced Research Center|date=2007-06-13|accessdate=2008-08-06]
HARC is in the early stages of coordinating the
Texas Climate Initiative, which will include both outreach forums and technical workgroups. The workgroups will analyze the impacts of global warmingon the Texas economy, biodiversity, energy demand, and number of other areas. The outreach forum will include advocacy, youth, and communications forums. As a part of the outreach, new mediaand global warming games will be evaluated and used as communication tools.
HARC's Built Environment Program conducts and applies research in three major areas — building materials, building methods, and building systems that support the construction of high performance
green buildings. The program's goal is to promote the utilization of environmentally friendly materials, conservation of water and energy, and a healthier interior environment for buildings in the region.citeweb|url=http://www.harc.edu/OurWork/BuiltEnvironment|title=Built Environment|publisher=Houston Advanced Research Center|date=2007-05-10|accessdate=2008-08-06]
The mission of the Clean Energy Program is to accelerate development and adoption of clean energy technologies, services, and policies that enhance regional sustainability. The work of the program includes several areas: stationary
fuel cells; combined heat and powergeneration; energy market tools and products; strategic energy planning; clean energy applications analysis; and clean energypolicy analysis. citeweb|url=http://www.harc.edu/OurWork/CleanEnergy|title=Clean Energy|publisher=Houston Advanced Research Center|date=2006-05-26|accessdate=2008-08-08]
Ecosystems & Water
HARC's Ecosystems and Water Resources Program emphasizes
biodiversity, water qualityand quantity, ecosystem informatics, economics, policy, and social and institutional analysis. The goal of the program is to link ecosystems and water resources to sustainable development through improved understanding of the interactions between humans and these resources and to facilitate regulatory, institutional and technological change and improved decision making.citeweb|url=http://www.harc.edu/OurWork/EcosystemsWater|title=Ecosytems & Water|publisher=Houston Advanced Research Center|date=2007-07-12|accessdate=2008-08-08]
HARC's Environmental Health Program includes efforts in
toxicogenomicsand regional health indicators. In toxicogenomics, HARC employs genomics, proteomicsand pharmacogenomicstechnologies as well as systems biologyto investigate toxicology of the ecosystem, to develop new and more predictive assays, and to develop new methods to monitor human exposure and health. At the regional scale, HARC combines information technology and expert input to develop environmental health indicators that steer the development of public policy.citeweb|url=http://www.harc.edu/OurWork/EnvironmentalHealth|title=Environmental Health|publisher=Houston Advanced Research Center|date=2006-05-06|accessdate=2008-08-08]
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