OKC’s innovation district newsletter

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In this Issue

Innovation district area companies shine at BIO

More BIO Coverage

Innovation District and Placemaking Terms

Editor's Spotlight: Presbyterian Health Foundation

OKC Hits the Beach in Bricktown

Innovation District Partners Sponsored NE OKC Renaissance Event April 30

Bricktown Beach placemaking installation next to Bricktown Ballpark

Innovation District Study Area Entities Shine at BIO International Convention

The recent BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) International Convention gave scientists, business leaders, educators and economic development officers representing some of the local biotech companies, research and educational entities based in the innovation district study area a chance to network with more than 15,000 potential business partners from around the world. During the four-day event, more than 140 meetings were held in the Oklahoma pavilion, allowing representatives from all across the state a chance to meet potential business partners, launch products and share the accomplishments of Oklahoma's bioscience sector.

Tom Kupiec, CEO of Oklahoma City’s ARL BioPharma and DNA Solutions, had more than a dozen partnering meetings during at the BIO show. He said his mission is to bring revenue into Oklahoma from around the world.
Max Doleh, one of Oklahoma City’s serial entrepreneurs, unveiled his new concept Doleh said the Web-based business is a “business relationship facilitator” that encourages direct communication between buyers and sellers.

Moleculera Labs CEO Craig Shimasaki served as moderator for a panel discussion on “Brain and Behavior” and also held a book signing during the event.

Photo courtesy Jim Stafford

BIO Coverage in the Media

For more information on the Oklahoma delegation at the BIO see the following articles:


Innovation District and Placemaking Terms

Editor's note: As the public conversation about innovation districts and placemaking continues in Oklahoma City, we’ll fill you in on terms you might hear so you can understand and join the discussion. We’ll keep a running list on our website, along with other resources.

Once again, it’s placemaking vocabulary time! For this edition of “terms,” we visited Chicago (well,, anyway) to find some relevant items to our local efforts.

  • Intangible Qualities:
    According to, a place’s intangibles are its so-called “qualitative aspects”: “when people describe a place they especially enjoy, words like “safe,” “fun,” “charming,” and “welcoming… Intangible qualities can also be measured quantitatively in a variety of ways… When combined, positive intangible qualities lead to tangible success in public spaces.”.
  • Linkages:
    Linkages can be comprised of both physical connections from one place to another, as well as visual connections. A place with good “linkage” is one that is easily accessible and physically / visually connected to its surroundings. From the website, “a successful public space is visible, easy to get to and around. Physical elements can affect access (a continuous row of shops along a street is more interesting and generally safer to walk by than a blank wall or empty lot), as can perceptions (the ability to see a public space from a distance). Accessible public places have a high turnover in parking and, ideally, convenient public transit.”

See our complete rundown of terms on our website at

District spotlight: Presbyterian Health Foundation

Editor’s note: With each email, we will take a look at one of the institutions, businesses or areas, which are defined as the innovation district’s “assets,” that are located within the boundaries of the Brookings/PPS study.

Presbyterian Health Foundation (PHF) was founded in 1985 with the vision of creating a premier medical center in Oklahoma City. Since its inception, the organization has invested more than $100 million in medical education and research in Oklahoma. These investments have done more than instill the love of discovery in the hearts and minds of students throughout Oklahoma; it has led to significant medical breakthroughs that touch the lives of individuals and families in communities across the state and nation. 

PHF has also brought exciting economic opportunities by positioning Oklahoma at the forefront of genetic research and biotechnology. The organization has awarded seed funding, bridge funding and education grants to numerous organizations, including the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Children’s Hospital Foundation and numerous others. It has funded scientific research addressing topics such as immunology, cancer, genetics, women’s health, pharmacology, geriatrics, macular degeneration, digestive diseases, ophthalmology, and countless others.

The organization constructed the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park (known today as the University Research Park) on Lincoln Boulevard offering more than 700,000 square feet of first-class wet-lab and office space at subsidized rates to the city’s burgeoning bioscience and biotechnology startup companies. The sale of the research park to the University of Oklahoma in 2013 allowed PHF to reinvest the proceeds and continue issuing grants to support the growing bioscience sector.

This foundation continues to expand with the active recruitment of scientists and biotechnology companies to Oklahoma City’s budding innovation district.

OKC Hits the Beach in Bricktown

If you’ve been in Bricktown lately, you know it already—life’s a beach! Downtown OKC, Inc. is conducting a place-making experiment of sorts with the construction of a small sandy beach area in front of the Bricktown Ballpark. While not technically in the study area, this is a great way to check out some nearby placemaking activity in action. We’ve got a rundown of some of the media coverage on the blog, so check that out and then go check IT out! See you at the beach.

Innovation District Partners Sponsored NE OKC Renaissance Event April 30

The oNE OKC event recently showcased northeast Oklahoma City with vendors, arts, community activities including a mural, bicycle obstacle courses, music, dance, food trucks and more. oNE OKC’s purpose was to bring some attention and community building to NE Oklahoma City, which comprises part of the innovation district study area. Douglass High School hosted the event, which was organized by the Northeast Renaissance Steering Committee, Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class XI, and the Alliance for Economic Development of OKC. The Oklahoma City innovation district study partners were a sponsor of the event. Check out coverage of oNE OKC on our blog!

Contact Joyce Burch, the Chamber’s senior manager of innovation and entrepreneurship at 405.290.7067 or if you have questions.

Copyright © 2016 Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, All rights reserved.

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