Innovation District Roadmap for the University of Georgia
The University of Georgia created a roadmap to focus the development goals, priorities, and feasibility of a future innovation district.
The University of Georgia, one of the country’s oldest public universities, is quickly becoming a premiere destination for higher-education. Seeking to further strengthen its position as a one of the top 20 public universities in the country, the university is creating a research campus to host its research and innovation activities. To understand the process and resources needed to create a research campus, the university’s real estate team hired HR&A to evaluate the operational and financial feasibility of such a project.
HR&A assessed the university’s innovation, technology, and research strengths and weaknesses through stakeholder interviews and a review of innovation districts and research centers at peer universities. Working collaboratively with a real estate task force, HR&A and the university used its extensive understanding of university processes, innovation ecosystems, and implementation strategies to create development guidelines for a financially sustainable innovation district. These guidelines identified strategies to develop through private sector partnerships, grow university research opportunities, and produce a convergent environment unique to the University of Georgia.
HR&A’s recommendations focused the task force’s future development of the district on the development of a convergent innovation center that would include space for productive uses open to for entrepreneurs, community members, and students. The convergent innovation center will be activated and programmed by a variety of university programs and activities that focus on economic development, industry partnerships, and entrepreneurship.