Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Announces $100 Million Innovation Fund to Invest in Education Initiatives Globally

HMH Innovation Fund will help develop and bring to market groundbreaking new products for delivering individualized learning solutions and classroom technologies

Company also investing an additional $300 million in broader technology initiatives over the next three years

BOSTON--()--Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the formal creation of a $100 million fund to support innovative ideas for new products to promote and enhance student achievement, individualized learning and effective technology integration in the classroom. The HMH Innovation Fund will be aimed at supporting emerging education initiatives and programs, as well as accelerating new technology development with the goal of bringing to market and spurring adoption of innovative solutions that can play a critical role in transforming education.

The HMH Innovation Fund will promote and support solutions aimed at engaging all education stakeholder groups — including teachers, administrators, parents and students — by creating a process for soliciting, evaluating, developing and executing innovative ideas that solve teaching and learning challenges. The process will be uniquely collaborative, encouraging input and participation from across the education and technology industries. The Fund will also look to support new consumer applications including gaming platforms and other interactive solutions to engage students outside the classroom.

“The HMH Innovation Fund is a first for our industry, providing the capital to identify and incubate the next generation of innovation in education. We are excited about the opportunity to share in developing new solutions for teachers, students, administrators and parents,” said Barry O’Callaghan, CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “HMH will work with, partner and fund the innovators of today and support great ideas that will have an immediate impact in promoting greater student achievement with tools that can be used both inside and outside the classroom.”

In the coming weeks, HMH will formally unveil the process and requirements for submitting concepts, including a dedicated online site for submitting concepts. Internal submissions will also be a central part of the program, aligning and bolstering the Company’s ongoing focus on developing new classroom solutions while leveraging its peerless content and proven technology capabilities to develop innovative, data-driven solutions that drive student success.

The Fund will aim to rapidly infuse capital into worthy projects and expedite development to quickly fill market needs. Investments may range from products or services for students and teachers, to product or process enhancements, to consumer-focused education products that HMH can deliver broadly through its education or trade businesses.

A commitment to innovation across HMH

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is also investing as much as $300 million over the next three years to develop innovation centers both in the United States and Dublin, Ireland. The Innovation teams at HMH work closely with third parties including Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), foundations and academia, and have already started rolling out an array of new solutions including:

  • A one-year pilot program in four California school districts of the first ever full-curriculum Algebra application on the Apple iPad. More than 400 California eighth-grade students will receive instruction strictly via an iPad loaded with Holt Algebra 1 course materials including highly developed comprehension tracking tools, which provide students with customized online remediation based on quiz and test scores, and simultaneously provide teachers with student-specific performance feedback. Assessment data will be immediately available to the teacher for constant tracking and in-class remediation.
  • A new all-digital language arts program in Texas for grades 2–12 called Texas Write Source, which helps students of every learning style master key writing forms and processes and grammar usage through whole-class interactive whiteboards, an online worktext and space that enables students to share personalized essays, and the ability to download video podcasts, audio-enabled interactive mini-lessons, games and trackable quizzes.

“We have a well-established and open incubation strategy for new ideas, partners and start ups that is different than anything that exists within the traditional publishing business,” said Fiona O’Carroll, Executive Vice President of New Ventures. “We have created an environment and a structure to foster and support incubation of new ideas and we feel we can be the partner of choice for big ideas due to our overall scale, market reach, positional advantage and speed in bringing things to market. This is a true incubation model.”

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global education and learning company that is leading the way with innovative solutions and approaches to the challenges facing education today. The world’s largest provider of educational products and solutions for pre-K–12 learning, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt develops and delivers interactive, results-driven learning solutions that advance teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Through curricula excellence and technology innovation, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt collaborates with school districts, administrators, teachers, parents and students. With origins dating back to 1832, the Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. For more information, visit www.hmhpub.com.

Contacts

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Josef Blumenfeld, 617-351-5432
Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs
josef.blumenfeld@hmhpub.com

Contacts

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Josef Blumenfeld, 617-351-5432
Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs
josef.blumenfeld@hmhpub.com