Piedmont Triad Research Park changes name, focus

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- The area formerly known as the Piedmont Triad Research Park is now The Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center CEO Dr. John McConnell announced Monday.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said the new name was a better fit.

"I believe successful cities of the future are those that embrace innovation and rapid change. I think this name really clearly symbolizes what we're trying to do here in Winston," Joines said.

The name change comes as Winston-Salem-based Inmar continues to renovate old RJR property to consolidate its growing business downtown.

"We operate out of three different facilities today, and we're spread out over the town, and this is going to give us the opportunity to come together and be under one roof," said CEO David Mounts.

The new branding seeks to combine the research that goes on with the information technology business moving in, and it should change the impression of the area from researchers in lab coats to a broader spectrum of businesses.

Mounts and McConnell both predicted the new atmosphere would contribute to better business on multiple fronts.

"Being a quarter -- in the Innovation Quarter where we can be surrounded by other innovators in biotech and nanotech to help fuel our ideas and thinking and to help deliver that into the market is really going to be a plus for our business, and we're very excited about it," Mounts said.

"This is really to try and get our discoveries into patients in a much quicker cycle," Dr. McConnell said.

WFIQ President Eric Tomlinson predicted 1900 new employees in the Innovation Quarter by the end of 2014 with an estimated 1,000 total residents living in the surrounding downtown area by the same time.

Along with this announcement, three companies announced they'd be moving in, bringing 45 new jobs.

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