A new history series presented by New Winston Museum, Reynolda House, Triad Cultural Arts and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter will explore the history of the former downtown tobacco district, the people who worked there and the impact it had on many aspects of life including the development of downtown Winston-Salem.
Innovation Quarter News
Wake Forest Innovation Quarter today announced the beginning of construction on the new greenway trail that will eventually run the entire length of the Innovation Quarter.
Wake Forest Innovation Quarter today announced the sale of portions of Bailey Power Plant to Wexford Science+Technology, a BioMed Realty company. Wexford will redevelop approximately two-thirds of the Bailey Power Plant property, including the main building and most of the surrounding grounds that include the iconic chimney stacks.
Dioko Ventures, in partnership with Nashville, TN based venture capital firm, FCA Venture Partners, announced this week the launch of its’ first fund, Dioko Health Ventures I, LP. The Fund is seeking to raise $25 million to invest in companies primarily in and around Western North Carolina and the Triad.
Dioko will be managed and supported by FCA and led by Matthew King, Managing Partner of FCA. Accompanying King, FCA’s Co-Managing Partner, John Burch, and CFO, Nancy Allen, will provide fund oversight and administrative support. The investment committee for the Fund will be led by King, together with Tom Hearn, CEO of Novarus Healthcare, and Todd Johnson, co-founder and Board member with KeraNetics, LLC. Dioko will work closely with Inmar, Inc., Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, local universities, academic medical centers, and accelerators to help foster, grow and fund the local healthcare entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“In recent years, FCA Venture Partners has invested in two early stage companies in the area,” said King. “There are many signs of early stage investing opportunities on the rise in this part of North Carolina and we are delighted to deploy institutional capital in the area.”
The Fund will make 10-12 investments in Seed to Early stage companies in the healthcare IT and service sectors with commitments of $500K to $2M. Dioko anticipates that about half of the companies in the Fund will be based in Western North Carolina.
“I’m very excited about the potential for the Dioko Health Ventures fund,” said Advisory Board member Don Flow. “There are an increasing number of healthcare IT and healthcare services companies being started in our region, but there is no organized capital available to fund the growth of these companies. Matt King and his FCA team have a long and successful track record of investing in early stage healthcare companies, and will be a great addition to our healthcare entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Dioko’s deal sourcing team will be led by Andrew Bouldin, Principal at FCA. “We review over 400 start-up companies a year at FCA, with the majority in Healthcare IT,” said Bouldin. “With many of the deals too early for FCA to consider, I look forward to the opportunity to financing some of these earlier stage companies.”
“Early-stage seed funding is crucial for startups,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “The Dioko fund is a critical shot in the arm for building a start up environment in the Innovation Quarter and our city that will support the growth of our innovation economy.”
Wake Forest University announced today that new academic programs in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering will anchor the University’s undergraduate presence, referred to as Wake Downtown, in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter beginning in 2017.
Last fall, Wake Forest announced plans to lease space in the rehabilitated former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company 60 series building in the Innovation Quarter, adjacent to what will become the home of the medical education programs of Wake Forest School of Medicine this summer.
Now, newly approved courses of study in Engineering, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery will extend the exceptional faculty-student engagement that is a hallmark of the Reynolda Campus to one of the fastest-growing urban-based districts for innovation in the country. The proximity of the 115,000-square-foot Wake Downtown facility also will make it possible for undergraduates to take classes with faculty from Wake Forest School of Medicine.
“The frontier of science and technology has rarely been as exciting as it is today. While many Wake Forest students already work with medical school research mentors, the next-generation building complex that literally and figuratively brings medical and liberal arts education together under one roof will greatly enhance students’ opportunities for closer collaboration and deeper engagement,” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch. “Wake Downtown presents a wonderful occasion to rethink how science is taught and how learning is best achieved.”
Biomedical Sciences and Engineering programs rooted in the Liberal Arts
According to the Education Advisory Board, employer demand for undergraduate biomedical science and technology graduates increased by 58 percent nationally and 43 percent in North Carolina from 2012 to 2014.
Academic programs recently approved by College faculty are expected to meet employer, student and societal demands. New courses of study include:
- B.S. in Engineering – Wake Forest engineering students will exemplify the term ‘well-rounded,’ bringing to their subsequent careers or graduate studies a focus on applying engineering science, design and analysis to complex issues. The engineering major will offer optional biomedical and materials engineering emphases in a liberal arts environment of entrepreneurial and critical thinking. Classes in the engineering program are expected to begin in fall 2017.
- B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Jointly administered by the Chemistry and Biology departments, this interdisciplinary degree will enable students to develop a conceptual understanding of and build practical skills to address increasingly complex biological, biochemical and biomedical challenges. Students preparing for research or pre-health careers will develop greater insight into the experimental approaches and results that lead to the current understanding of biomolecular function. Abundant undergraduate research opportunities will be available for students in WFU labs and those of several medical school departments already in the Innovation Quarter. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology classes will begin in January 2017.
- Concentration in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery – Building upon existing strengths and research interests of faculty and students, the establishment of a medicinal chemistry concentration within the Department of Chemistry will provide a distinctive, high-quality educational experience at Wake Forest. The concentration provides a new path to an American Chemical Society certified B.S. degree that will increasingly attract students interested in health-related fields, biomedical sciences and pharmacology. Classes for the new concentration will begin in January 2017.
“The distinct and compelling new set of programs of Wake Downtown represent the most significant academic innovation in recent Wake Forest history and one of the most audacious efforts to rethink undergraduate science education as we know it,” said Michele Gillespie, Dean of Wake Forest College. “Embracing the Innovation Quarter as a hub for a liberal arts education is central to our future.”
Wake Downtown transcends boundaries and promises collaboration
Undergraduate students in these programs are estimated to spend approximately equal time on the main campus – studying arts, humanities, and basic sciences – and in the new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering classrooms and labs downtown.
In addition to programs in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Wake Downtown will also enable expanded undergraduate offerings in entrepreneurship, bioethics, public health policy and the humanities.
“One of the most exciting aspects of Wake Forest’s undergraduate presence in the Innovation Quarter is the potential to collaborate with the greater Winston-Salem community, our shared City of Arts and Innovation. Along with contributing to the knowledge economy and growing job base in the Innovation Quarter, we plan to partner on community projects ranging from public arts to service to volunteer opportunities,” said Provost Rogan Kersh, whose leadership in the community includes chairing the city’s Poverty Thought Force. “As an extension of the Reynolda Campus, Wake Downtown will serve as an incubator for tomorrow’s leaders long before many of them even apply for admission.”
Approximately 350 undergraduates are expected to study downtown by 2021, when new programs are fully operational. Expanded facilities and an increased demand would enable the University to accommodate modest enrollment growth. Wake Forest also plans to hire additional faculty and staff – all of which would increase the University’s current $3.3 billion economic impact in the region.
“The Innovation Quarter has grown into a true knowledge community,” said Wake Forest Innovation Quarter president Eric Tomlinson. “The addition of these new Wake Forest University undergraduate program aligns perfectly with our ‘Work. Live. Learn. Play’ approach to building such a community.”
Wake Forest Innovation Quarter today announced architectural and landscaping improvements coming to Bailey Park in the first half of 2016. An entrance plaza with a water feature and awalkway connecting upper and lower levels are among the enhancements that are being added to Bailey Park in a community development initiative supported by local foundations and corporations.
Work on the improvements at the 1.6-acre publicly accessible green space in the Innovation Quarter will be completed in April. The Innovation Quarter is undertaking the project with funding support by:
- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
- Wexford Science + Technology
- The John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation
- The Millennium Fund
- The Winston-Salem Foundation
- Stimmel Associates, PA
- Grubb Properties
- Whiting Turner
“Bailey Park is for the whole community,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of the Innovation Quarter. “It’s gratifying that many local foundations and corporations have come together to support the further development of this unique resource.”
Enhancements to Bailey Park will include a new entrance plaza featuring a “water wall” on the North Patterson Avenue side opposite the Bailey Power Plant. Bailey Park’s two levels will be connected by an elevated concourse by two short flights of stairs, one rising to the upper-level stage area and the other descending to the new street-level plaza.
The enhancements also include new landscape features such as limestone terraces, planting areas bordering the lawn and a grove of cherry trees. Stimmel Associates, PA, which provided the initial design and landscape architecture services for Bailey Park, will provide the same services for these enhancements.
“Bailey Park has had a positive impact for the City and has proven to be a great venue for a wide variety of events and activities. The additions announced today are sure to make it an even more attractive and versatile locale,” said Lindsey Yarborough, senior manager of community relations for the Innovation Quarter.
Bailey Park, which opened in April 2015, is bordered by East 4th, East 5th and Vine streets and by North Patterson Avenue. It operates year-round between 7 a.m. to dusk, with special events taking place by arrangement outside of these hours.
Detailed information about Bailey Park, including a calendar of events, is available at www.baileyparkws.com.
The rich history of the predominantly African-American communities that were home to thousands of workers and their families during tobacco’s heyday in Winston-Salem will be explored at a free interactive event on Saturday, Nov. 21.
“Remembering the Neighborhood: Life in the Former Tobacco District” will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Wake Forest Biotech Place in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, which encompasses the sites of both once-bustling tobacco facilities and once-thriving residential and commercial areas.
The centerpiece of “Remembering the Neighborhood” will be a panel discussion including former Belews Street neighborhood resident Barbara Morris, former tobacco worker Miles Harry, former Winston-Salem city staff member Jack Stillman, community historian and author Annette Scippio and educator Rudy Anderson. The discussion will be moderated by Endia Beal, director of The Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem State University.
Among the activities available to attendees will be viewing a slide show of images from The ARCHIVE (Society for the Study of Afro-American History in Winston-Salem) and other sources, listening to oral history recordings made by the City-County Planning Department and participating in a New Winston Museum “memory mapping” project.
Additionally, University of North Carolina-Greensboro graduate student Amanda Holland will be on hand to record the recollections of former area residents and tobacco workers.
Complimentary light refreshments will be served and there will be an activity area for young children.
Biotech Place is located at 575 N. Patterson Ave. Free parking for this event will be available in Innovation Quarter Lot P1, which is accessible via North Chestnut Street.
“Remembering the Neighborhood” has been organized by a partnership of The ARCHIVE (Society for the Study of Afro-American History in Winston-Salem), the City-County Planning Board, The Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem State University, New Winston Museum, the Office of City Council Member Derwin L. Montgomery, the Wake Forest University Department of History, Old Salem Museum & Gardens – St. Philips Heritage Center, Wexford Science & Technology, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and resident volunteers.
The leaders of Salem College and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts will talk about the value, current state and future role of liberal arts education on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Wake Forest Biotech Place in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
The “Engage: Education” panel discussion featuring Salem Academy and College President D.E. Lorraine Sterritt, Ph.D., and UNCSA Chancellor M. Lindsay Bierman, M.A., will be moderated by Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., chief innovation officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
The hour-long discussion will begin at 6 p.m. in the atrium of Wake Forest Biotech Place. It will be preceded by a networking reception with drinks and appetizers beginning at 5 p.m.
This event, which is open to the public free of charge, is part of the Innovation Quarter’s “Engage” series, which each quarter presents a conversation involving leading figures from various sectors of the Innovation Quarter and greater Winston-Salem communities.
Sterritt became Salem’s president in July 2014 after holding administrative and faculty positions at Harvard University. Bierman assumed his duties as chancellor of UNCSA in August 2014 after serving as editor in chief of Southern Living magazine.
Wake Forest Biotech Place is located at 575 N. Patterson Ave. Free parking for this event will be available in Innovation Quarter Lot P1, which is accessible via North Chestnut Street.
Information about public events at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is available online at www.innovationquarter.com/calendar/.
Some of the most innovative cars on the road will now have a place to recharge in downtown Winston-Salem.
Wake Forest Innovation Quarter joined with the city of Winston-Salem and the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) on Friday, October 16 to celebrate the commissioning of a Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) charging station. The two-car charging station, the first of its kind in the city, was officially opened for use after a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The charging station, manufactured by OpConnect LLC, is located near the corner of Patterson Avenue and Fourth Street in the heart of the Innovation Quarter. It was installed by PART and funded by a grant from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.
Allen Joines, mayor of the city of Winston-Salem, spoke at the commissioning ceremony. “This [charging station] adds to the ambience of sustainability,” Joines said. “Winston-Salem is committed to sustainability.”
“This is a part of what we are doing to establish a more environmentally-friendly energy use pattern in our nation and in our region,” said Dan Besse, Winston-Salem councilperson and vice chair of Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation.
Innovation Quarter president Eric Tomlinson sees the charging station as one of the important steps toward Winston-Salem being a city on the cutting edge of technology.
“We are on the tipping point of creating one of the world’s greatest centers for innovation in biomedicine, information technology and clinical sciences,” Tomlinson said. “Partnerships like the ones we are celebrating today are crucial to our success.”
The charging station features plug-and-pay technology, allowing users to pay at the station by credit card. Representatives from PART and OpConnect said the cost to fully charge an electric vehicle at the station is between $4 and $5.
Creativity, inquiry and discovery have a new home base.
The Center for Design Innovation (CDI), a multi-campus research center of the University of North Carolina system, today celebrated the official opening of its $13.7 million, 24,000-square-foot headquarters facility in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
CDI marked the occasion with an event for invited guests that included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks by representatives of local and state institutions, followed by an open house for the public.
“We are extremely pleased to be in our new permanent home,” CDI Executive Director Pamela Jennings, Ph.D. said. “This world-class facility is an engine for incubating North Carolina’s discovery economy. Connecting the region to the state and beyond. The Center for Design Innovation is a uniquely adaptable research and learning environment that will connect our campuses to our local community.”
The multi-level complex comprises a series of flexible, interconnected nodes that are suited to the wide range of interdisciplinary programs and projects bridging art and design, technology and science that CDI conducts in partnership with Winston-Salem State University, the UNC School of the Arts and Forsyth Technical Community College and the regional community at-large.
CDI’s signature facilities include multiple design studio spaces that will support learning and entrepreneurial activities in making and prototype development for research and entrepreneurship. The CUBE, a 60 cubed feet experimental space is designated to be an audio, visual and computational “building as instrument” supporting leading-edge research and creative productions from immersive performance and data visualization to 3D cinema, augmented reality and motion capture.
Designed for speed and scalability, CDI’s 10 gigabit network connects via the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter to the North Carolina Research and Education Network backbone (NCREN). Along with state-of-the-art servers and programmable Wi-Fi, the CDI can support projects that require significant compute demands.
Among distinctive features of the building is a spacious atrium appropriate for impromptu meetings with colleagues, exhibitions, events and other activities. The top floor of the building is a multi-purpose space that can host special interest group meetings, community design charrettes, workshops, and symposiums.
The building incorporates numerous sustainable design elements and is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council for the purpose of obtaining LEED Silver certification. It was designed by CJMW Architecture of Winston-Salem, and its construction was managed by Samet Corp. and SRS Inc. of Greensboro. “The design process started with brainstorming sessions with a group of people from the Center and its collaborating institutions,” said Jeff Sowers, an Associate of CJMW Architecture and the building’s designer. “We talked about making a place of possibilities; the challenge was then to bring that into 3 dimensions.”
Located on a four-acre tract on Design Avenue off Rams Drive, the CDI building is the first facility to open in the south district of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
“The cutting-edge work that the Center for Design Innovation does perfectly aligns with the culture of the Innovation Quarter, and the new facility is magnificent,” said Innovation Quarter President Eric Tomlinson. “There could not be a more suitable anchor for our south district.”