About IC² Institute

The IC2 Institute was established at The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 as a think-and-do tank to study the drivers of economic development and shared prosperity. IC2 has a deep legacy not only of academic research, but also of real-world practice—and connecting academia, business, and community leaders around bold ideas.

Under current director S. Craig Watkins, IC2 is moving ahead with new programs that build on the Institute’s history of community-building and ecosystem creation. The Institute’s new strategic initiative, “Innovating Well-Being,” will drive research and programs that advance equity in social, economic, environmental and health systems.

We believe that prosperity goes far beyond traditional economic measures; that prosperity demands the equitable allocation of life-enhancing resources. Current systemic inequities—the digital divide, health disparities, the racial wealth gap, social and environmental isolation of rural and poor communities—are areas that require attention and innovation.


James Jarrett

Senior Research Scientist

James E. Jarrett is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Business Research, IC² Institute. His Ph.D. is from the University of Pennsylvania, and he received his undergraduate degree from Antioch College. He has studied also at the London School of Economics and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. His recent work at the Institute has concentrated on evaluation (training, projects, programs), metrics and benchmarking, and economic impacts. Prior to joining the University of Texas at Austin, he served as Director of Research at the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. Previously, he conducted and supervised research for eight years at the national Council of State Governments, in Lexington, Kentucky, a non-partisan, non-profit research and service organization. Nearly all of Dr. Jarrett’s 80+ articles, reviews, reports, and book chapters have been developed for policy makers in state and local governments.

IC2 1.126 Senior Research Scientist

Matt Kammer-Kerwick

Senior Research Scientist

Current research interests: Developing methodologies for studying identities and needs of communities relevant for sustainable entrepreneurial activity and economic development.

Matt Kammer-Kerwick, PhD, is an NSF-funded Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Business Research, IC2 Institute. He is the principal investigator of the study Disrupting Exploitation and Trafficking in Labor Supply Networks:  Convergence of Behavioral and Decision Science to Design Interventions, which examines the use of multi-actor stochastic models, reinforcement learning algorithms, and agent-based simulation models to assess and develop disruptive interventions for illicit supply chains.  He is also Lead Scientist at the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (IDVSA) in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work.  Current projects include the development and application of operations research models and data analytic methods toward solutions for social, environmental, and economic justice problems; assessing the scope and prevalence of human trafficking in the State of Texas; and assessing the perceptions and prevalence of interpersonal violence at institutes of higher learning within the UT System.  Prior to his role at the IC2 Institute, he was a research consultant to industry for over 20 years and was President and Founder of Visionary Research, Inc. He has a PhD in Management Science and Information Systems from The University of Texas at Austin and previous degrees in Physics and Systems Engineering.

IC2 1.116 Senior Research Scientist

Bruce Kellison

Director, Bureau of Business Research

Bruce has been responsible for strategic planning and research for the Bureau of Business Research since 1998. Under his leadership, the Bureau has won a number of research grants and contracts from a variety of sponsors, including the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the State of Texas. He is former editor of Texas Business Review and and in 2017 served as president of the Association for University Business and Economic Research, a leading professional organization devoted to improving the quality and application of research in public policy and business economics. Kellison frequently collaborates with social work scholars and has written about the economic impact of human trafficking, sexually oriented businesses, the rape kit backlog crisis, and sexual assault. He has a doctorate in government from The University of Texas at Austin.

IC2 1.114 Director, Bureau of Business Research

Cara Lowrimore

Communications Specialist

Cara joined IC2 in November 2022. Most recently, Cara worked for the Texas Main Street Program, where she supported 90 Texas communities engaged in downtown revitalization. In addition to her background as a writer, Cara brings a broad range of experiences to her work as Communications Specialist. Previous roles include working as a city planner in Charleston, South Carolina; serving as a consultant to nonprofit organizations involved in the development of affordable housing; and coordinating customer experience for an Austin-based, women-owned manufacturing startup. Cara received an undergraduate degree in American Studies and a graduate degree in Community Regional Planning from UT Austin.

email: cara.lowrimore@austin.utexas.edu

Adriann Oommen

Research Associate

Adriann Oommen is a Research Associate with IC² Institute. She will be working with Matt Kammer-Kerwick with BBR on the OS2 Year 3 grant research project, as well as the Dell Medical Impact Study project.

Adriann recently graduated with a B.A. in Human Dimensions of Organizations from UT Austin. She worked for the IC² Institute as a student researcher previously, and has had a variety of work experiences ranging from public policy to risk management. She is from San Antonio, Texas, and outside of work she enjoys painting and reading.

Gregory Pogue

Deputy Executive Director

Dr. Gregory Pogue is Deputy Executive Director and Senior Research Scientist of the IC² Institute of The University of Texas at Austin.

He leads research, instructional and implementation programs surrounding technology commercialization, early venture creation and entrepreneurship. He organizes Institute-campus research programs and coordinates IC²’s regional and international programs with campus initiatives. He served as Interim Executive Director from 2016-2018.

Dr. Pogue has extensive technology commercialization experience through senior positions in venture capital, entrepreneurial ventures, technology transfer offices and as a scientific innovator. He has held vice-president or above positions in six startup enterprises: one realized a successful public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange; a second was acquired by a Fortune 500 company; three obtained large licensing deals with industry leaders; the last is in clinical stage development. He has authored over 60 original scientific articles and reviews and is an inventor on over 35 issued and pending U.S. patents.

Mary Rodriguez

Admin Services Officer & Senior Human Resources Coordinator

Mary Rodriguez serves as the Administrative Services Officer and Sr. Human Resources Coordinator for the IC2 Institute. Her business and administrative functions at the institute include budget preparation and monitoring, financial reports, allocations and communications between holders and IC² for endowments and faculty grants, reviewing and approving authorizations and payments, purchasing, and overseeing other administration functions.  Mary’s human resources work involves all matters related to recruitment, hiring and on-boarding of new staff and students, reclassification, employee relations and training programs, separation and retirement of staff, compliance of university rules and regulations as related to human resource and administrative procedures.  Mary has worked at UT Austin for over 20 years and joined the IC² Institute as an Administrative Manager for the Global Commercialization Group (now Global Innovation Lab).

Mary holds a certification in administrative management and SHRM human resource management. She was nominated for the Exemplary 140 Service Award in September 2018 and again in March 2019. When she isn’t managing daily operations, you can find Mary at a beach somewhere.

IC2 2.108 Administrative Services Officer I

Kelley Shrock

Senior Administrative Associate

Kelley Shrock, Senior Administrative Associate, comes to IC2 from the Department of Physics where she was responsible for research administration in the Center for High Energy Density Science. Kelley has worked at UT for over two years. Before joining UT, Kelley held a variety of roles in the technology, education, and government sectors. She holds a BA in Managerial Studies, Policy Studies, and Latin American Studies from Rice University and an MBA from the University of Colorado.

IC2 2.112 Senior Administrative Associate

Emily Spandikow

Director of Project Management

Emily serves as a director of project management for IC² supporting the ongoing projects and programs at the institute. Prior to joining IC², Emily worked in the field of International Education for over 12 years, overseeing international academic programs, projects, and partnerships. Emily has held roles such as the Director of Study Abroad at St. Edward’s University, the Assistant Director of Study Abroad at UT Austin, and the Associate Director of Academic Affairs at Arcadia University, The College of Global Studies, London Center. She has taught courses such as Diversity in the British Workplace, Work in Thought and Action, and Cross-Cultural Communications and has lived and worked in multiple countries. She has earned her Master’s of Science in Cross-Cultural Psychology from Brunel University in London, a TESOL certification from Trinity College, Cambridge, and a certificate in International Higher Education Management and Leadership from the University of Albany.

Kara Takasaki

Researcher, BBR

PhD, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin. Researcher at Bureau of Business Research (BBR).

Kara studies race and gender inequality in paid and unpaid labor. Her dissertation is on the development of racialized masculinity among U.S. born Asian American men working in professional occupations. She is also a co-survey lead for the AAPI COVID-19 Project, studying the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work, health, and relationships of AAPI communities. She has also studied the way gender and race shapes the work experiences of graduates in chemistry and chemical engineering during the first five years after graduation. She has published in the Journal of Asian American StudiesMichigan Family Review, and the Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity

At IC2Kara uses focus groups and surveys to train undergraduates and writes research reports and manuscripts with large state government agencies, private corporations, and academic researchers in multi-site research grants on the human dimensions of organizations, labor exploitation, and quality of life in rural Texas communities. Kara’s research at IChas given her opportunities to enhance her quantitative skills and programming skills with data analysis software. She has also been able to extend her labor research into labor exploitation in low-wage labor and economic development in rural communities. Her future research endeavors include publishing her book manuscript, Optimized: Racial Economics of Cultural Strategies, and starting a second stream of research into racial inequality in health care and medical technologies. Before coming to UT Austin, Kara was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, graduated with a BA in Sociology and English from Tufts University, and a MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.

S. Craig Watkins

Executive Director

S. Craig Watkins is the Executive Director of the IC2 Institute and E Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial Professor (Moody College of Communication) at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of six books and several published articles that probe the social and behavioral impacts of computer-mediated technologies including the internet, social media, smartphones, and artificial intelligence. His specific expertise is in the relationship between race, equity, and technology. His research examines, for example, the digital and data divides, the adoption of technologies in marginalized populations, digital media and human behavior, and the social and ethical implications of artificial intelligence. Craig is one of the Principal Investigators for UT Austin’s Good Systems Grand Challenge, a University funded research initiative that examines the social, technical, and ethical implications of artificial intelligence. More specifically, Craig leads a team that is exploring the future of more equity-centered artificial intelligence. In his role as Executive Director of the IC2 Institute, a “think and do tank” at UT-Austin, Craig is leading a new initiative that focuses on health equity. This project, for example, is exploring the rise and transformation of telehealth, empirical analysis of the social determinants of health, and computational systems that enhance a sharper understanding of the structural factors that drive the mental health crisis in the U.S.


David Gibson

Senior Research Scientist Emeritus

Current Research Interests: technology and innovation-based regional development and entrepreneurship; technology transfer; sustainable environments and economic development (SEED) in small island developing states (SIDS).

Dr. David Gibson is a Senior Research Scientist Emeritus at the IC² Institute. He was a Senior Research Scientist and Nadya Kozmetsky Scott Centennial Fellow at the IC² Institute, 1998-2018; a Fulbright Scholar at Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal, 1999-2000; and visiting Professor II at Tromsø University Business School, Norway, 2013-2014. His most recent publication is “The Launch and evolution of a technology-based economy: The case of Austin, Texas,” (2019), D. Gibson and M. Oden, Journal of Growth and Change.  He is a consultant to businesses, academia, and governments worldwide and is currently Senior Advisor to the Committee on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of West Indies Open Campus. Dr. Gibson received his PhD in sociology from Stanford University in 1983 with a concentration in organizational behavior, innovation, and communication theory.

IC2 3.128E Senior Research Scientist Emeritus

Advisory Board

Faculty Advisory Council

Visiting Scholars

Learn more about our Visiting Scholars program.

Affiliated Groups

The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) is the deep technology incubator of The University of Texas at Austin working with university and community entrepreneurs to commercialize their breakthrough innovations. Founded in 1989 at the IC² Institute by Dr. George Kozmetsky, ATI has used a customized approach to support entrepreneurs addressing the world’s most pressing problems by connecting startups with the expertise, relationships, and funding sources they need to succeed in the marketplace. ATI is home to a number of specialized incubators which include – circular economy, energy, food & agtech, healthcare, mobility, and water.

Blackstone LaunchPad at The University of Texas at Austin believes that entrepreneurship is for everyone. The LaunchPad is a centralized, cross-curricular, accessible hub for entrepreneurship on campus. They offer students, faculty, and staff a variety of resources at all stages of ideas and venture development

The University of Texas at Austin is proud to offer Human Dimensions of Organizations (HDO), which offers an Executive MA degree, Professional Training, and an Undergraduate Major. Drawing on an innovative combination of the humanities, behavioral sciences, and social sciences, HDO meets a need not addressed by existing education options: a deep understanding of people, the key components of any organization.

In 1996, the IC² Institute developed and launched the Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization degree program—the first ever technology commercialization degree program and the first UT Austin degree program with an option to take entirely online. Now at the UT Austin McCombs School of Business, the renamed Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) program combines cutting-edge technology and hands-on entrepreneurship, resulting in the creation of innovative ventures and products.

To meet the needs of international partners and sponsors, IC² started the Global Commercialization Group in 2001, creating and delivering technology commercialization training and international business development programs around the world.  Now renamed the Global Innovation Lab, the team reports to the Senior Vice Provost for Global Engagement.  Global Innovation Lab trains and supports entrepreneurs in their communities to overcome local challenges, create jobs, and drive sustainable economic development.


The IC² Institute, The University of Texas at Austin
2815 San Gabriel St
Austin, Texas 78705