• Cathy O'Connor

Making space for innovation


The word “innovation” is used frequently to describe a new product, technology or service. Imagine what innovation might look like when you apply it to an entire 1.3-square-mile district.

The Brookings Institution, along with the Project for Public Spaces, recently released the findings of their 18-month study on Oklahoma City’s proposed Innovation District. The designated area connects the Oklahoma Health Center on the east side of Interstate 235 to Automobile Alley on the west. But the Innovation District is so much more than a physical location. It is a new way of thinking about public spaces and opportunities for collaboration. It is focused on creating a magnetic hub, with walkable spaces and inviting spaces to gather – the kind of place where innovative businesses and skilled workers are attracted.

One of the report’s recommendations is to establish an Oklahoma Center for Energy and Health collaboration. The research, educational opportunities and entrepreneurial potential of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and GE Oil and Gas Technology Center can be enhanced by looking at potential collaborations. Oklahoma City leaders supported this bold idea by approving a tax increment financing district. It is the third TIF allocated to this area. The existing TIFs (ones that will expire in five years) helped launch a research park that is now part of the OU medical campus and helped fund infrastructure as part of the new GE Global Oil and Gas Research Center.

Read the full article at The Journal Record

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