Eugene explores the potential for its own innovation district

If you’ve spent any time mucking around in startup ecosystems, you’ve no doubt come across the concept of an “innovation district.” The idea, briefly, is to artificially create a dense core of people, institutions, and companies that fosters innovation. Sort of like Portland’s urban growth boundary. But for innovation.

Portland has been working on its own innovation district, the Portland Innovation Quadrant, for several years. Now, Eugene is considering a similar pursuit.

The Innovation District in Eugene is projected to encompass nearly 1.5 square miles of downtown in an area that currently includes the UO, the Knight Campus, the downtown Park Blocks, EWEB’s riverfront development property, the downtown high-speed fiber internet network, grocery stores, restaurants, bars, arts and arts-advocacy groups and performance venues. This area contains nearly a quarter of Eugene’s jobs.

For more on the concept and why Eugene appears ready to engage in this effort, read Eugene is ready for an innovation district.

(Hat tip Joe Maruschak)

[Full disclosure: I am part of the team working on the Portland IQ and PIE serves as the headquarters for the project. I am cofounder and general manager of PIE.]

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