Racing to raise PDX's bioscience IQ
Author: Jon Bell -- Staff Reporter, Portland Business Journal
Posted: April 6, 2018

This article originally appeared in the Portland Business Journal

The concept of an Innovation Quadrant rising up on the Portland riverfront has been talked about and developing for years.

This morning, the concept moved into a more concrete form with the formal launch of Portland IQ, a nonprofit designed to "champion and connect the varied groups working in the innovation ecosystem in Portland." The nonprofit, chaired by Erin Flynn, officially launched today at TechFestNW.

“As industry boundaries continue to blur, proximity to talent, ideas and facilities matter more and more,” said Flynn, who is also associate vice president of strategic partnerships at Portland State University, in a release. “The IQ is home to remarkable innovation assets including our region’s anchor educational institutions, business incubators, startups, maker spaces, and co-working offices. The IQ will better connect and amplify these assets by creating a central hub for Oregon’s innovation economy."

Geographically, the Innovation Quadrant spans both sides of the Willamette River, from the Burnside Bridge to the Ross Island Bridge and includes areas and partners like the South Waterfront, OMSI and OHSU. Portland Community College, Portland State University and a long list of local businesses also fall within the quadrant. Many of them have already been collaborating and spurring new development.

One recent example: Summit Development Group, which is investing $12 million into a 40,000-square-foot development for biotech lab space.

“We’ve worked to engage with a variety of partners interested in growing and attracting talent, providing business support, and securing the ongoing investment required to fuel continued innovation," Flynn said. "All of us in the Portland IQ are excited to embrace this unique opportunity to serve as the center of gravity for our region’s entire innovation economy."