NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — City officials announced the launch of the Norfolk Innovation Corridor (NIC) — an area paralleling the Elizabeth River Trail designated as a “technology zone” to attract and retain qualifying startups and firm expansions through tax incentives.
The new NIC will support tech companies specializing in combatting sea level rise and recurrent flooding, green technologies, cybersecurity, supply chain and maritime logistics, population health threats, behavioral health crisis, bioinformatics, advanced transportation technologies and more.
“Civic and business leaders in Norfolk are prepared to do our part in reviving our region’s economy and making it work for everyone,” said Charles V. McPhillips, past president of Greater Norfolk Corporation.
With over 55,000 college students graduating from Norfolk colleges and universities every year and access to R&D from anchor academic and health institutions, the zone also serves as a magnet for a high-tech, talented and diverse workforce, according to a statement released by the city Thursday.
“Anchor academic, research and health institutions clustered close to tech start-ups give Norfolk a strong competitive edge, as entrepreneurs and researchers collaborate to advance the region’s leadership in innovation and economic development,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander.
A few start=ups have already benefited from the NIC and the technology zone.
One of the first start-ups that established itself along the corridor was 3DXtremes which was founded by Old Dominion University graduate and tech entrepreneur Blade Taylor.
The company combines 3D printing with augmented reality to help inventors and organizations turn their napkin-sketch concepts into real products ready for market.
ReAlta Life Sciences, created by physicians and researchers affiliated with corridor anchors EVMS and CHKD, recently closed on a $26 million series A2 equity financing. The firm advances bio-tech therapies for the treatment of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a severe birth complication affecting newborns suffering from oxygen deprivation to the brain.
It is also exploring treatments for other inflammatory disorders, such as the “cytokine storm” associated with COVID-19.
“In the midst of one of the worst global pandemics in history, the launch of the Norfolk Innovation Corridor is a strong example of the resilience shown by anchor institutions and other economic, physical and networking assets concentrated in the Corridor, which today open doors to new opportunities,” he said.
To learn more about the Norfolk Innovation Corridor, visit norfolkinnovation.com.
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