Institute For Regional Forecasting
The Institute for Regional Forecasting (IRF) was officially established in 1999 by Dr. Barton A. Smith. It was established as an independent unit of the Hobby Center for Public Policy, now known as the Hobby Center for Public Affairs, and after Dr. Smith's retirement it was moved to the C. T. Bauer College of Business in the fall of 2012, under the direction of Dr. Robert W. "Bill" Gilmer. The Institute’s bi-annual symposia on the Houston economy and local real estate markets have been a community fixture since 1984. The role of the IRF is providing essential, non-biased, economic information to the local community, the centerpiece being the economic outlook for Houston. The IRF provides Houston a center of business and economic expertise focused on local economic issues important to the Houston community. It also provides independent forecasting and other economic services on a contract basis to the public and private sector.