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Inmar, Inc., a retail technology company and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter tenant, releases survey data on holiday shopping trends. With U.S. shoppers spending less to fill up their gas tanks, they’re spending more filling up holiday stockings – according to a survey conducted by Inmar Analytics earlier this month that found 25 percent of shoppers planning to spend more on gifts this year than last. Another 49 percent of the shoppers surveyed said they plan to spend at least as much this year as they spent in 2013. And that spending is well underway, with 90 percent of the 520 shoppers surveyed on December 1 and 2 reporting they have already made a holiday gift purchase.

Read the full story.


Carroll-with-AwardWake Forest Innovations presented its Innovation Award to David L. Carroll, PhD, on December 10 for his innovative research and leadership as director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University. Carroll, professor of physics at Wake Forest, leads a research group that has developed such innovations as the Hybrid Sterling Energy Generator solar panel, the Power Felt thermoelectric fabric and field-induced polymer electroluminescent lights.

The award was presented by Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and chief innovation officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in recognition of Carroll’s important contributions in the field of alternative energy.

Carroll started a nanotechnology laboratory at Clemson University in 1997, which he moved to Wake Forest University in 2003. He holds a portfolio of twelve issued patent families and helped found startup companies to manufacture some of the products developed from his group’s research. His research interests include nanomaterials, light emitting device technologies, solar device technologies and medical nanosciences. He holds adjunct appointments at Wake Forest in cancer biology and biomedical engineering, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Innovation Awards are given at each Innovation Quarter Network Night, an event held every 3 months that offers Innovation Quarter tenants and the surrounding community the chance to network and interact in an informal setting. Sign up to receive invitations to these and other events in the Innovation Quarter.


Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announced plans for a new medical education building for its School of Medicine. Funding for this $50 million capital project is part of a larger capital campaign that will be publicly launched next summer.

The medical education building will be located in the former 60 series R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company complex, adjacent to 525@vine in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Construction will begin immediately with plans to be ready to welcome medical students in July 2016.

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The medical education building is Wake Forest Baptist’s most significant capital improvement project reliant upon philanthropy in decades.

“Wake Forest School of Medicine’s presence in Winston-Salem is a tribute to philanthropy,” said Wake Forest Baptist’s Chief Executive Officer, John D. McConnell, M.D., “and we owe our thanks to leaders like James A. Gray and Bowman Gray whose example continues to inspire us. Building upon that legacy, we embark upon this exciting component for the School, which is also contingent upon philanthropic leadership.  We continue to look to our partners who have helped make an investment in the health of the community, the economic base of downtown Winston-Salem and the future of medicine and innovation in biomedical science and information technology in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

“Hand in hand with our philanthropic efforts, the Medical Center is fortunate in that Building 60-3 is a historic property, which qualifies the project for Historic, New Markets and State Mill tax credits,” McConnell added. “These tax credits significantly lower the cost of this project and make it possible, but because those tax credits sunset on Dec. 31, 2014, timing is crucial. That is why we are starting immediately.”

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The timing of the opening of the medical education building will coincide with Wake Forest Baptist introducing one of the most advanced medical school curriculums in the country, and will allow medical students to prepare for real-life experiences in the most modern of settings available for clinics and exam rooms, complete with the new informatics and technologies commonly used in patient care today.

In addition to training in the most advanced environments for outpatient clinics, medical students and faculty will learn in small group learning spaces, an anatomy lab, clinical skills labs and patient simulation suites, while support services including a student lounge, kitchen, faculty offices and meeting spaces will enhance student life and mentoring opportunities.

Wake Forest School of Medicine Dean Edward Abraham, M.D., said the time has come to create a medical training facility that matches the school’s reputation as providing one of the highest quality programs in the country.

“Our medical school’s present facilities have been the training ground for our students since 1969. They have served us well, but our model of patient care has dramatically changed since then. Medicine has fast-forwarded to the digital age with computer-guided imaging and surgical procedures, lasers instead of scalpels and electronic medical records that allow patients to look up their medical test results, speak to their doctors and make appointments from their laptops and cell phones,” Abraham said.

“We will soon be introducing a leading-edge medical education curriculum that will prepare our highly qualified students to become outstanding physicians, and thus we must have the appropriate facilities to accommodate current learning and teaching styles and space to grow.”

The Medical Center’s fundraising effort for the project has already begun, according to James W. Johnston, chair of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Campaign Cabinet.

“Our volunteers and community leaders are enthusiastic about this significant philanthropic endeavor, which will sustain and grow the incredible legacy of medical education at Wake Forest School of Medicine,” Johnston said.

The 168,000 square-foot building will be developed in partnership with Wake Forest Baptist’s Innovation Quarter partner, Wexford Science + Technology, LLC, a BioMed Realty Company. “Wexford is honored and excited to be in a position to continue to expand Wake Forest Innovation Quarter through the development of a new training facility for Wake Forest School of Medicine,” said Daniel Cramer, Wexford’s senior vice president of development. “The introduction of this prestigious institution into the Innovation Quarter is further validation that it is one of the top knowledge-based communities in the U.S.”

The new medical education building adds to the growing synergy among the city’s academic institutions and supports technological collaboration, entrepreneurial opportunities and community involvement as well as social, economic and professional growth to its residents.

President, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and Chief Innovation Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., said, “The addition of Wake Forest Baptist’s medical education program to the rapidly expanding Innovation Quarter marks a further milestone in our development as a leading hub for innovation in biomedical science and information technology with an emphasis on research, education, business and product development. The vibrancy of the growing student base here demands the Innovation Quarter be ready for their presence with opportunities for further learning, accommodation and recreation. We will be ready.”

View images from the press conference.


Inmar, Inc., a retail technology company and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter tenant, announced this week that it has teamed up with Price Chopper to offer consumers more options and efficiency in e-coupon shopping. The Golub Corporation selected Inmar, headquartered in the Innovation Quarter, to manage the digital coupon program for the Price Chopper Supermarkets AdvantEdge Card shopper loyalty program. Through the deal, Price Chopper gains access to Inmar’s nationwide network, and shoppers will benefit from this collaboration through greater access to coupon offers from a wide range of popular brands. Inmar’s management also adds a new product-specific search function and unlimited coupons for loyalty program members. Inmar, Inc. assumed responsibilities for the digital coupon program on December 1, 2014.

Read the full story.


Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, will address a plenary session of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) 2014 International Conference, to be held Dec. 2-5 in Boca Raton, Fla.

Tomlinson’s speech on Wednesday, Dec. 3, will describe the positive impact the Innovation Quarter has had on the Winston-Salem area while touching on the importance of having an anchor institution, the value of reusing of abandoned space and the challenges of re-imagining an urban district.

“I’m looking forward to sharing some of what we’ve accomplished and learned here with colleagues from around the world,” said Tomlinson, who is also Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s chief innovation officer.

The AURP, based in Tucson, Ariz., is a professional association dedicated to fostering innovation, commercialization and economic growth in a global economy through university, industry and government partnerships. Its membership includes research, science and technology parks in the United States, Canada, Mexico and other countries.


The opening of Bailey Park, a 1.6-acre publicly accessible green space in the heart of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, has been set for the spring of 2015.

Bailey Park, which is bordered by East Fourth, East Fifth and Vine streets and North Patterson Avenue, will add a new dimension to the Innovation Quarter.

“Situated against the historic Winston-Salem skyline, Bailey Park will help foster a vibrant city,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “Safe parks that are programmed around diverse interests play a crucial role in bringing people together to help make cities sustainable and livable.”

The site’s features will include a 30-by-40-foot covered stage, restroom facilities, an area for food trucks and a large grassy expanse suitable for a variety of activities.

“Programming for Bailey Park will include community events, music performances, art exhibitions, movies nights and much more,” said Lindsey Yarborough, manager of public activities for the Innovation Quarter.

In designing and developing Bailey Park, several local companies, Stimmel Associates, Stitch Design Shop and LMI Builders, have worked with the Innovation Quarter to integrate building materials and design features that reference the history of the setting with modern elements.

While Bailey Park will be publicly accessible, there will be no cost to the public for maintenance or operations.

Construction of Bailey Park will be completed over the next several weeks. The construction fencing will remain in place as a safety measure until the opening in the spring.


“It takes a village,” said Sean Gaillard, principal of Wiley Magnet Middle School.

He was talking about the Future Innovators mentoring program, a partnership between the Winston-Salem school and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

“A magnet school requires unique community support,” Gaillard said. “Last fall, I got with my instructional leadership team and as we thought about innovation we naturally thought about the Innovation Quarter. We also wanted to find a sincere community partner that supported our school mission of ‘Inspiring Innovative Minds.’”

Wiley has a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) curriculum that promotes dialogue and critical thinking, making it a perfect fit with the Innovation Quarter.

Gaillard reached out to the Innovation Quarter, he and his team were invited over for a visit and a conversation about how to make a lasting impact on students who might not otherwise have such an opportunity got rolling.

“We wanted a sustainable program, not just a one-time field trip for our kids,” Gaillard said.

Chad Campbell, communications director for Wake Forest Innovations, came up with the idea of matching 10 mentors from the Innovation Quarter with 10 Wiley students for personalized learning. “Individual mentors saved and changed my life,” Campbell said. “I have no doubt this program can do the same for these students.”

The one-to-one model was suggested and accepted, and the Future Innovators program was born.

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At Wiley, teachers selected 10 seventh-grade students who showed an aptitude and high interest in STEAM-related activities to be the first Future Innovators. At the Innovation Quarter, Steve Susalka, associate director of commercialization at Wake Forest Innovations, was charged with finding 10 mentors. He didn’t have to look for long: Ten men and women representing a variety of fields quickly volunteered.

The program began in September with a two-hour session that started with the students meeting their mentors. “It was humbling and energizing to see these professionals connect with kids,” Gaillard said.

The hands-on learning experience during the first session focused on robotics, with the students programming Lego robots to navigate an obstacle course.

“Our goal was to create an engaging program that highlighted the many varied disciplines here in the Innovation Quarter,” Susalka said. “The students learned quickly that there was more than one way to overcome an obstacle and used a trial-and-error approach to generate solutions.”

Daniel Yohannes, associate director of product innovation and commercialization services at Wake Forest Innovations, enjoyed his first experience with the youngsters from Wiley. “The students were a wonderful reminder of how infectious the joy and enthusiasm of learning can be,” he said. “And the lesson of teamwork in the robot challenge and throughout the morning is one that never really gets old.”

In their monthly sessions at the Innovation Quarter throughout the school year, the Future Innovators will learn about microbiology, computer science, regenerative medicine, digital design and biomedical engineering, with all activities related to their classroom studies. And, as in most educational programs, the students will have a test at the end. In May, the Wiley students will present their own innovative ideas to a panel of the Innovation Quarter experts in a contest modeled after the television program “Shark Tank.”

“We believe it is incredibly important to offer these young people the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the exciting developments in science and technology that are happening here,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “We’re also looking forward to seeing them demonstrate their intelligence, imagination and ingenuity.”

The mentoring program is off to a promising start. Quickly, new friends have been made and bonds have been formed.

At the end of the session in September, as the students and mentors sat down for a healthy lunch, Susalka’s young protégé called out, “Hey, Steve. We saved you a spot!”


Robert Ingram, general partner of Hatteras Venture Partners and former CEO and chairman of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), names North Carolina’s community college system as “one of the best in the country.” The system, he says, prepares its students for entry into the workforce, particularly into pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing fields.

North Carolina has 58 public community colleges, and the system educates over 850,000 students each year. Ingram says that this workforce “asset” was a major factor in GSK’s decision to build a production facility in Zebulon, North Carolina.

One of these community colleges, Forsyth Technical Community College, recently opened a new Center for Emerging Technologies in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a beacon for innovation in biomedical science and information technology in downtown Winston-Salem.

Read more about North Carolina’s community colleges.


Inmar, a company that operates intelligent commerce networks, today announced that 2.14 billion coupons (including offers for both food and non-food items) were redeemed during the first nine months of 2014. Of all the offers redeemed so far this year, 40.8 percent came from Free-Standing Inserts (FSIs), which represented the largest share of redemption among all “major” methods — those with more than 20 million redemptions.

Although FSIs remain the predominant method for redemption, shoppers’ desires for convenient ways to save continue to fuel significant growth in digitally discovered coupons. “Clips” of paperless digital coupons, which consumers load directly to retailer loyalty cards, exceeded 650 million during the first three quarters of the year. Redemption of these coupons, referred to as Load-to-Card (L2C), has more than doubled since 2013. At the same time, Inmar estimates that 600 million Print-at-Home (PAH) coupons were printed during this same nine month period — with a measured average redemption rate of 11.23 percent.

“Shoppers want convenience when it comes to finding ways to save and their surging use of Load-to-Card coupons shows us that,” says Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts. “The increasing capability of marketers to personalize and target these paperless offers is only going to grow their popularity among shoppers and enhance their effectiveness as tools for engagement and conversion.”

While L2C offers enjoyed explosive growth, FSIs still accounted for the majority (91%) of the 251 billion coupons distributed during the nine-month period. The 251 billion total represents a small decline in overall distribution (-1.7%) compared with the same period last year. Overall redemption was also down slightly (-2.5%) at the end of Q3 2014 versus the end of Q3 2013.

After FSIs, the most popular methods with shoppers (in terms of redemption volume) for the first nine months of 2014 were Instant Redeemable and Instant Redeemable Cross-Ruff which, together, accounted for 22 percent of all coupons redeemed. Other in-store methods garnering significant shares of redemption were Electronic Checkout with an eight percent share of coupons redeemed and Shelf Pad, representing 5.7 percent of the coupons redeemed during this period.

As marketers continue to experiment to find the right formula for motivating acquisition and driving redemption, face values for distributed coupons — at the end of Q3 — were up for both food and non-food offers ($1.15 and $2.05, respectively). However, the redemption period for food and non-food coupons distributed contracted (down to 2.4 months and 1.9 months, respectively).

Inmar has been in the promotion industry for more than 34 years and currently processes and analyzes more than 2.3 billion coupons and related campaigns annually, making it an expert in planning, executing and measuring promotions. In addition to providing promotion management, coupon processing, business intelligence and consulting, Inmar closely monitors coupon distribution and redemption across the country and regularly reports on trends and activity in this sector.

Media Contact:  Sharon Joyner-Payne, SVP, Marketing, sharon.joyner-payne@inmar.com, +1 336.631.7663

ABOUT INMAR

Inmar is a technology company that operates intelligent commerce networks. Our platforms connect offline and online transactions in real time for leading retailers, manufacturers and trading partners across multiple industries who rely on Inmar to securely manage billions of dollars in transactions. Our Promotions, Supply Chain and Healthcare platforms enable commerce, generate meaningful data and offer growth-minded leaders actionable analytics and execution with real-time visibility. Founded in 1980, Inmar is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with locations throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.

For more information about Inmar’s products and services, please call 866.440.6917 or visit www.inmar.com.

 


Innovation Quarter tenant Inmar Inc. plans to buy the Wisconsin company, Hopster Inc., which specializes in digital coupons. David Mounts, Inmar’s chairman and chief executive, said the companies have worked together on projects for much of 2014. He said Hopster brings to Inmar “a powerful marketing and technology platform” with digital coupons – a growing segment for how retailers and manufacturers connect with consumers. Read the full story at the Winston-Salem Journal.