The vision of the Oklahoma City Innovation District is to bring together the greatest minds in total collaboration, yielding world-changing results. Home to internationally-acclaimed organizations spanning Oklahoma’s diverse sectors – health, energy, aerospace, technology, research, academia, and more – the Innovation District provides opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation, and community growth.
OKC’s emerging Innovation District currently encompasses about 1.3 square miles east of downtown –roughly between NE 13-16th Streets to the north and NE 4th to the south and Robinson and Lottie Avenues to the west and east. It crosses Broadway/Interstate 235 and includes Automobile Alley in addition to the Oklahoma Health Center, University Research Park, and numerous other institutions. The OKC Innovation District is also home to the heart of the city’s bioscience sector, where many institutions are already conducting groundbreaking research and fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. A significant center of job growth, the district reflects the shifting geography of the global economy and the emergence of dense hubs of economic activity where innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and placemaking intersect.
The purpose of the Innovation District is to capitalize on OKC’s dominant industries; investing in high-quality places where research institutions, firms, and talent concentrate and connect. The district will support the region in being more competitive, both in attracting investment and the talent necessary to continue our community’s economic expansion. And, not incidentally, it is critical that we provide more opportunities for area residents who are not currently connected to the innovation economy. As an existing employment hub, the home of major anchor institutions and research assets, and a site ripe for placemaking interventions, the innovation district could propel the Oklahoma City region forward.
The economy of the region is diverse. Oklahoma City boasts an increasingly diversified economy, with aviation and aerospace making up the largest sector in both employment and economic impact. Bioscience, energy and logistics industries also play a significant role in the market. With an impressive corporate presence, innovative incentives, and a low cost of doing business, the varied economy positions the OKC Innovation District for dynamic synergies.
The state’s next cultural destination, a contemporary arts center in downtown Oklahoma City, will open in January of 2020. At Oklahoma Contemporary, the art and innovation of tomorrow will be forged through the creative connections between different art forms and ideas.
OKC is catching the attention of ambitious entrepreneurs because of a strong research community, the ability to hire talent quickly and cheaply, an influx of millennials, and quality of life. Throughout OKC’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, there are tools to help your small business succeed. The low cost of living and labor, central location in middle America, good schools and low taxes and regulations have turned OKC into an entrepreneurial paradise.
OKC’s renaissance has been fertile turf for ambition, and one result is redefining the restaurant arena. The last five years have seen a quantum leap in Oklahoma City’s inventory of ambitious, one-of-a-kind restaurants. With a keen instinct for what’s needed next – and where – a handful of savvy chefs and entrepreneurs has broadened the city’s culinary horizons. Oklahoma City isn’t a fly-over city — it’s a food destination.