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Forsyth Tech officially opened its newest location today at 525@vine in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, which is now home to the college’s Business & Industry Services Division.

525@vine, a former tobacco factory that was recently redeveloped and renovated into a mixed-used laboratory and office building, houses Forsyth Tech’s R. J. Reynolds Corporate Training Center, BB&T Biotechnology Program, Wells Fargo Nanotechnology Program, National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, BioNetwork and Small Business Center.

The opening ceremony featured remarks by college and Innovation Quarter officials followed by media tours of the renovated space.

“We are excited to be expanding our presence into Winston-Salem’s vibrant downtown,” said Forsyth Tech President Dr. Gary Green. “Our location in the Innovation Quarter reflects the vision of the college to bring together services for business and industry under one roof where we can intersect with the business community as our client instead of the individual student.

“Here in the Innovation Quarter, we are at the epicenter of local economic development, making our business services more accessible than ever before, and creating opportunities to build new and even stronger collaborations that support the growing needs of our business community.”

Forsyth Tech’s 24,000 square feet of innovative work space at the Innovation Quarter was funded with $7 million raised through its Momentum Capital Campaign, which came to a conclusion in 2013, and includes lab facilities, computer labs, flexible classroom and meeting room space as well as small and large collaborative work areas.

Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter will serve more than 1,200 students each year as well as a growing number of corporate clients and small business owners through the:

  • J. Reynolds Corporate Training Center, which supports the college’s corporate training partnership programs and provides services for Innovation Quarter tenants
  • Small Business Center, which offers workshops, seminars, individual business counseling and a resource library for business owners and entrepreneurs
  • Lab facilities for the college’s Wells Fargo Nanotechnology Program, the only two-year nanotechnology program in the southeast
  • BB&T Biotechnology Program, the largest biotech program of any community college in the state, and
  • Offices for BioNetwork, the statewide biotechnology workforce initiative run by the North Carolina Community College System.

The 525@vine building was constructed in 1926 by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and used as a blending and processing plant. In restoring and renovating the 234,000-square foot building, the new owner, Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company, employed both state and federal tax credits that are available to qualified developers of income-producing spaces in historic industrial structures.

Media Contact: Martha Murphy, Public Relations Director, The Ruben Rink Co., martha@reubenrink.com, +1 336.397.5407

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Tech provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.  


Clinical Ink, a provider of electronic data-capturing technology for clinical research, has relocated its headquarters to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

Clinical Ink’s new corporate office spans 7,676 square feet and is located on the first floor of the recently unveiled 525@vine building, a former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. factory that underwent a $75 million renovation led by building owner Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company.

“The synergistic culture at the Innovation Quarter makes it a natural fit for our headquarters,” said Doug Pierce, the company’s president and co-founder. “There is significant opportunity for innovation and collaboration at every turn, both of which are central to our success as a solutions provider for clinical research.”

At Clinical Ink, employees are surrounded by opportunities to collaborate. For example, in the center of their new facility is a free-standing cube already nicknamed the “Cube of Collaboration,” in which employees have four dry erase walls to collaborate and brainstorm ideas for clients.

“Clinical Ink makes a great addition to the Innovation Quarter as its pioneering work in information technology and clinical research is internationally recognized,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

Clinical Ink offers solutions for domestic and international clinical research trials. Its principal product is SureSource®, an award-winning proprietary electronic platform that provides users with a paperless system for the fast and accurate recording of data, comments, explanations and other information required in clinical trials. The company, founded in Winston-Salem in 2007, also has an office in Horsham, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb.

525@vine offers tenants world-class research facilities with added amenities right outside its doors. Clinical Ink employees look forward to the Fall opening of Bailey Park at East End, a 1.6-acre park with green space and an outdoor stage, and the future Rails-to-Trails, a 20-mile walking and cycling trail that will follow an unused railroad track through the heart of the Innovation Quarter, eventually connecting to the Salem Creek Greenway.

In addition to Clinical Ink, current 525@vine tenants include: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Division of Public Health Sciences and Department of Physician Assistant Studies; the Innovation Quarter YMCA of Northwest North Carolina; and Flywheel, a co-working innovation space. Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter soon will join the list.


Ten seventh-graders from Wiley Magnet Middle School in Winston-Salem will be getting an up-close look at the process of innovation this school year.

They’ll get to try their hand at it, too.

The 10 Wiley students are the first participants in the Future Innovators mentoring program hosted by Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. From September through May, the students will spend one morning each month at the Innovation Quarter, visiting different labs, centers and departments to learn about fields such as robotics, microbiology, computer science, regenerative medicine, digital design and biomedical engineering.

Along the way, the students will be challenged to come up with their own innovations, which they will present during their final session to a panel of 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 and the chance to demonstrate their intelligence, imagination and ingenuity,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “The Future Innovators program at Wiley isn’t the only opportunity for students. We also encourage middle school students to participate in our SciTech program, which is a collaboration between Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the Innovation Quarter in which students learn about these exciting careers through hands-on learning experiences.”

Wiley, one of the 17 magnet schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system, employs the STEAM approach to learning, which uses science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. The 10 students in the Future Innovators program, who were selected by Wiley teachers, will have to complete assignments before and after the sessions at the Innovation Quarter, which will be related to their classroom studies.

“We are grateful for the partnership of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in supporting our students at Wiley,” said Sean Gaillard, the school’s principal. “The school vision is ‘Inspiring Innovative Minds’ through STEAM, and the Future Innovators project is an amazing result for our kids. I believe the students involved will be inspired and motivated by this partnership.”

Steve Susalka, associate director of commercialization at Wake Forest Innovations, developed the curriculum for the Future Innovators mentoring program.

“We wanted to connect further with students in the community in a way that would be more engaging than a one-time tour and I’m glad that, thanks to the people here and at Wiley, we were able to come up with an extended, interactive program,” said Susalka, who is one of the program’s 10 volunteer mentors, all of whom work in the Innovation Quarter. “I’m confident this will be both fun and rewarding for everybody involved, and I hope it’s something we can all build on.”


Inmar and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter leadership recently spoke to members of the City of Arts and Innovation Winston-Salem Intern Experience (CAIIE). David Mounts, Chairman and CEO, Inmar, and Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s chief innovation officer and the president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, conducted the “Masters of Innovation” program.

The program was held at Inmar’s new headquarters and Team Support Center, 635 Vine Street, Winston-Salem. Following the Masters of Innovation program, the group took a short walk to Flywheel, the city’s new co-working innovation space. During the mixer, interns had the opportunity to network and mingle with area executives in attendance. The Masters of Innovation program is just one of many enrichment experiences planned for interns at Winston-Salem businesses this summer. Twenty businesses from across Winston-Salem came together for the first time this year to form CAIIE to enhance the intern experience at their respective companies. The CAIIE provides opportunities for the interns to network, attend community events, collaborate on service projects and learn about business during their stay. More than 175 students from universities across the U.S. are a part of this year’s program. Mounts and Tomlinson spoke with the interns about environments that foster innovation, as well as provide examples of innovation and current disruptive trends that will influence innovation. Central to their message was that not all innovation is the result of “genius,” but rather a constructive dissatisfaction with the current state and an ability to listen carefully to identify needs. They also discussed where Winston-Salem falls in the pantheon of innovation. “We are very pleased to be working with area businesses to provide a rich experience for all of our Winston-Salem interns,” said Mounts. “It is exciting to watch the interaction among the students and to showcase all of the opportunities available to live, work and play in Winston-Salem.” Tomlinson added, “Tremendous innovation is occurring at Innovation Quarter and businesses across our city. The intern experience is far more constructive and fulfilling when they are provided the opportunity to become immersed in the area’s businesses, arts, and social and community events in addition to their work as an intern.”


Innovation Quarter tenant Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp., located on the 4th floor of Wake Forest Biotech Place, engages in the business of developing, manufacturing and commercializing in vitro diagnostic reagents for quantitative testing of analytes, which are used in hospital and private laboratories worldwide. The company continues to grow and report upon its successes in the chemistry systems industry. It recently shared four announcements with the public regarding business successes:

Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp. (CLC) announced on July 9 that its new Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test, used on the CLC720™ chemistry analyzer received certification by the National lycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP). Read the announcement.

Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp. announced on May 28, 2014 that its “Vitamin D-directTM” test has received a “Moderate Complexity categorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Read the announcement.

Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp. announced on May 28, 2014 that it has received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its new CLC6410™ chemistry analyzer. Read the announcement.

Phil Shugart, founder of Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp., received the award for “Entrepreneurial Excellence” at Triad BioNight 2014, the marquee event for the NC Piedmont Triad Region’s biotechnology community, held on May 21, 2014. Read the announcement.


SciTech-2014-feature

Gathered in an auditorium, 25 seventh-grade students are shown a series of X-rays, CT scans and MRIs of injuries and charged with the task of identifying the abnormality in the scan.

The students’ engagement intensifies as Clifford Howard, MD, an interventional radiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, follows up each diagnostic image with a photo of the actual injury. Howard explains that his presentation has a “Where’s Waldo effect,’’ and is quite successful at engaging audiences.

This particular audience is a group of middle-school students participating in the 2014 SciTech Summer Technology Institute. The two-week summer program gets students excited about careers in the STEM fields—Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—through exposure to unique and hands-on learning experiences. SciTech is a collaboration between Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

This summer about 140 sixth- through ninth-grade students, most from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, participated in SciTech. This is the eighth year the enrichment program has been offered.

“We offer a wide variety of STEM experiences,” said Denise Johnson, EdD, the Winston Salem State professor who directs the SciTech program. “[Students] have an opportunity to see how STEM works in so many careers. No matter what their aspirations are, they can really leave with an appreciation for learning advanced math and science.’’

Howard takes a forensic approach to his instruction, and the students pepper him with questions. Interpersonal connection is one of the main objectives of SciTech.

For Kiran Solingapuram, PhD, also a radiologist at Wake Forest Baptist, the focus is on diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radiology as he shows students how a MRI-PET scan works. Solingapuram decided to enter the field of medicine after the death of a close family member due to cancer.

“Finding a cure was my reason for getting into this field. I’m happy to see if I can motivate students to pursue a career in the field of medical research to bring about change.’’

Howard and Solingapuram are only two examples of the many STEM professionals the students interact with over the two weeks, but their stories and approaches are all targeted at the same goal, as stated by Howard:

“I hope that it [SciTech] sparks an interest in medicine in these young students or at the least furthering their education.’’

Learn more about the SciTech Summer Technology Institute.


Robot Run Group 2 2013

Any event bringing together teams in competition involving LEGOs® and robots is bound to bring smiles.

You just don’t often think of adults being the ones in a LEGO competition.

That’s exactly what will happen on Friday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the atrium of Wake Forest Biotech Place at the 2014 Robot Fun Run Community Challenge, a role-reversed world where middle-school aged students provide the teaching expertise to adults.

The event will feature up to a dozen teams of adults, coached by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County middle school students, competing for a chance at LEGO glory.

The competition requires teams to program a LEGO robot, in just a few hours, to do tasks such as picking up objects or crossing a LEGO bridge. The more tasks completed in the 2 ½ minute competition period, the more points a team accumulates, with the winners receiving their own LEGO trophy.

“You see the surprise on adults’ faces and joy when they get engaged. To me, that’s what is great about the Robot Fun Run,’’ says Eric Tomlinson, president of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and chief innovation officer for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “It is an enormously creative event, requiring a high degree of teamwork and engagement.’’

Tie-in With County Event in Fall

The Robot Fun Run is co-sponsored by Cook Medical, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and has ties to the Forsyth County Robot Run in the fall. The fall event features teams from 17 middle schools in the local system against each other in building and programming LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots to compete.

The aim of the Robot Fun Run is to increase awareness of the yearly Winston-Salem robotics program which is designed to get middle-school aged students excited about STEM related employment and life skills.

“And if those businesses decide to bring their participation and volunteerism to the Forsyth County Robot Run after participating in the Robot Fun Run, we consider it a great success,” says Lindsey Yarborough, manager of public activities for Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “It’s such a fun way for our community to come together and show support of local STEM programs in the hub of innovation, the Innovation Quarter”

The inaugural Robot Fun Run crown was captured last year by Small Footprint, a software development services company based in Winston-Salem, with the Wake Forest School of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering and Sciences team finishing a close second.

Yarborough says it was an intense event, with the top teams especially competitive. Both of those teams are coming back for this year’s event, as are many of the other competitors. Once again, each of the adult teams will be assigned a student mentor with experience from successful teams in the Forsyth County Robot Run.

Up to 10 teams are expected for the event, which is open to the public.

“The majority of the competitors had no idea what they were getting into last year,’’ Yarborough says. “It’s fun to watch the roles being flipped and the student becoming the teacher.’’

Promoting STEM to Children

The broad goal of the Robot Fun Run is to show students how creative and innovative careers can be in the STEM fields.

“The particular age, middle school, is an impressionable time period to really get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math,’’ Yarborough says.

With Innovation Quarter attracting new businesses in the biotechnology, information technology and materials sciences, Tomlinson says programs such as the Robot Fun Run hold promise for retaining bright minds.

“One of the goals is to set students on a path toward training that could lead to a job here or even create a company one day,’’ Tomlinson says. “It’s all part of that continuum of engaging the community and promoting creativity that is so important.”


525@vine is officially open.

The 234,000-square foot mixed-use laboratory and office building is the latest addition to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the burgeoning urban-based research park in downtown Winston-Salem.
The former tobacco factory was redeveloped and renovated into a world-class research facility by its new owner, Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company, at a cost of approximately $75 million.

“Wexford focuses on partnering with universities and creating hubs of innovation, and we are proud to include 525@vine as an example of this strategy. We are confident that this project will be a driver of new research and a boost to the Winston-Salem economy,” said Dan Cramer, Wexford’s senior vice president of development. “525@vine is not only the latest in a series of wonderful new facilities here in the Innovation Quarter, it’s amongst the best.”

At its official opening today, 525@vine is 74 percent leased. Current tenants include; Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Division of Public Health Sciences and Department of Physician Assistant Studies, the Innovation Quarter YMCA of Northwest North Carolina and Flywheel, a co-working innovation space. They soon will be joined by Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter and the headquarters of Clinical Ink, a provider of electronic data-capturing technology for clinical research.

“In addition to being a sterling example of the wonderful things that can be done with old buildings, 525@vine has a tenant roll call that represents the larger community being created here in the Innovation Quarter,” said Eric Tomlinson, Wake Forest Baptist’s chief innovation officer and president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “We fully anticipate that the spirit and energy these enterprises possess will create new sparks that lead to fascinating collaborations.”

For Wake Forest Baptist, the relocation of two of its nationally recognized components is a significant step to accomplishing this goal.

“Having Public Health Sciences and Physician Assistant Studies in this new facility downtown is a major part of our overall strategy to create synergies between our world-class research and education programs and our commitment to public-private partnerships to advance the economic development of the region,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., the Medical’s Center CEO.

The 525@vine building was constructed in 1926 by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and used as a blending and processing plant. In restoring and renovating the building, Wexford employed both state and federal tax credits that are available to qualified developers of income-producing spaces in historic industrial structures.

Wexford has invested approximately $250 million in three Innovation Quarter projects – Wake Forest Biotech Place, Inmar’s Team Support Center & Headquarters and 525@vine.

Media Resources


The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is partnering with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company, to bring a family-friendly food and entertainment event to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The free event, “b/eats on the street,” will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, in the parking lot at the corner of North Patterson Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

Co-sponsors of the event are Art Nouveau of Winston-Salem, a group of art enthusiasts under age 40, and the local chapter of Arts for Life, an organization that provides educational art programs to people with serious illnesses and disabilities.

“b/eats on the street” will feature live musical performances, local food vendors, a family art and activity zone, face painting and “Chalk for Life,” a sidewalk art contest put on by Arts for Life to raise money for critically ill children at Wake Forest Baptist’s Brenner Children’s Hospital.

“Downtown Winston-Salem is developing several complementary districts including the Theatre District, Restaurant Row, the Arts District and the Innovation Quarter. We are just beginning to understand the potential of these areas and to take advantage of opportunities for public events in each of them,” said Jim Sparrow, president and CEO of The Arts Council. “The vibrancy that we have seen in the city center is moving east with the development – both commercial and residential – that is under way in the Innovation Quarter.

“We are particularly glad that Arts for Life is involved in this event,” Sparrow added. “They do great work in using the arts to promote wellness and healing that is both inspirational and pace-setting.”

Additional local nonprofit organizations – including the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Winston-Salem Symphony, Sawtooth School for Visual Art and Authoring Action – will provide the children’s activities at the event and offer information about summer arts programs and camps for young people.

Winston-Salem’s robust arts community accounts in large part for the recognition the area continues to receive as a great place to live.

“Winston-Salem is known as the City of Arts & Innovation,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., chief executive officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Through this partnership, we look forward to generating awareness of the arts in Innovation Quarter.”

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, the first locally established arts council in the United States, enriches the lives of area residents every day. It raises funds and advocates for the arts, sponsors events in conjunction with other arts organizations, promotes and funds arts education, creates cultural opportunities, develops social capital and aids economic development. In 2013, The Arts Council made Organizational Support Grants to 19 Funded Partners totaling $1,675,000, and other grants brought the total awarded to $1,905,000.


Clinical Ink, a provider of data-capturing technology for clinical research, will move its headquarters to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter this summer.

Clinical Link has signed a lease for 7,676 square feet of space on the first floor of the 525@Vine building, a former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco facility that has been renovated and revitalized by its owner, Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company.

Clinical Ink expects to complete the move from its current offices on North Cherry Street in downtown Winston-Salem in July. Between 25 and 30 employees will be based at the Innovation Quarter site.

“The Innovation Quarter is an ideal location for us,” said Doug Pierce, Clinical Ink’s president and co-founder. “We’re looking forward to being surrounded by like-minded, innovative companies in the area that’s helping to transform Winston-Salem.”

Clinical Ink’s lead product is SureSource, a proprietary electronic platform that provides users with a paperless system for the fast and accurate recording of data, comments, explanations and other information required in clinical trials. The company, founded in Winston-Salem in 2007, also has an office in Horsham, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Clinical Ink to 525@Vine,” said Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “Its pioneering work at the crossroads of information technology and clinical research fits perfectly into the community of discovery and development that’s evolving here.”

By the end of 2014, Clinical Ink will be sharing 525@Vine with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Division of Public Health Sciences and Physician Assistant Program, Forsyth Technical Community College’s Center for Emerging Technologies, the Innovation Quarter branch of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina and Flywheel, a co-working innovations space.