Source: Triad Business Journal by Andy Warfield | April 30, 2020

Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter has announced the establishment of iQ Healthtech Labs, a physical and virtual hub for developing partnerships and breakthrough ideas within and through the iconic innovation district. 

The goal of iQ Healthtech Labs is to reduce the time frame of taking healthtech solutions from idea to the marketplace by creating collaborations between Innovation Quarter tenants, traditional and non-traditional partners, commercial markets and potential investors.

In its early stages and while social distancing continues, iQ Healthtech Labs will frequently gather partners and collaborate virtually while growing its physical presence within Bailey Power Plant. Partner companies will share collaborative space with Innovation Quarter anchor tenants in an environment of creating making and developing.

iQ Healthtech Labs are organized based on the growing sectors of focus that have begun to emerge and will continue to be intentionally cultivated within the Innovation Quarter. The sectors include:

  • Value and Health Transformation
  • Healthy Aging
  • Virtual Health
  • Personalized Care and Precision Medicine
  • Learning Systems

“There’s never been more of a need for industry, academia, startups and individuals to come together to collaborate and partner on next-generation healthtech ideas,” said Jane Shen, head of sector development for the Innovation Quarter. “iQ Healthtech Labs represents an exciting effort, bringing together the expertise of our anchor academic institutions like Wake Forest School of Medicine, combining with commercial and consumer-minded partners and leveraging the power of our health system partners to test, refine, scale and rapidly deploy healthtech solutions.”

Each sector will feature its own “lab” — in terms of collaborative organizations, virtual connectivity infrastructure — and eventually physical space. Each lab will be anchored by existing research and innovation “engines” within the Innovation Quarter, such as the Center for Healthcare Innovation and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

“iQ Healthtech Labs perfectly represents the next chapter in the development of the Innovation Quarter,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. “By combining our institutional strengths with leading companies aiming to bring health solutions to the market, we can create the types of collaborations and partnerships the Innovation Quarter was built for.”

The effort also represents an opportunity to further refine one of the areas of economic development focus for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

“The health field has been a cornerstone of our economy for decades,” says Mark Owens, President and CEO of Greater Winston-Salem Inc. “As our talent and technological capacity grows, we will look to strategically develop our economy to leverage those assets and apply them to research, development, and emerging technologies in medical science.”