Norfolk Innovation Corridor Launches New Technology Zone to Attract Start-up Companies, Skilled Talent and Catalyze Growth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Giovanna M. Genard Office: 757-683-3152 Norfolk Innovation Corridor Launches New Technology Zone to Attract Start-up Companies, Skilled Talent and Catalyze Growth Norfolk, VA – (November 19, 2020) – The coastal city of Norfolk, Virginia, known globally for its expertise in resilience and strong entrepreneurship ecosystem, is emerging as a tech hub for companies supporting products, technologies and services in the resilience sector. Today, Daniel Peterson announced the launch of the Norfolk Innovation Corridor (NIC), an area paralleling the Elizabeth River Trail designated as a “technology zone” to attract and retain qualifying startups and firm expansions through tax incentives. With more than 55,000 college students graduating from Norfolk colleges and universities every year and access to R&D from anchor academic and health institutions, the zone also serves as a magnet for a high-tech, talented and diverse workforce. “Civic and business leaders in Norfolk are prepared to do our part in reviving our region’s economy and making it work for everyone,” said Charles V.

GNC President’s Report – 2020

GNC Annual Meeting – July 9, 2020 – Charles V. McPhillips   Well, after suffering through my harangues for six long years, you have to survive only this, my final 10-minute flight of oratory.  My microphone is about to drop. First, let me thank you.  It has been a great honor to lead one of the most consequential organizations in this region, replete with so many of our community’s finest leaders.  As our Mayor wrote recently, for 42 years GNC has been “a major catalyst in propelling [Norfolk] forward by improving the competitiveness, vitality and resilience of our City.

2018 GNC President’s Report

GNC  Annual Meeting, May 30, 2018 - Charles V. McPhillips   We are grateful to Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga for flying in this afternoon.  So he and I probably have different cities in mind when I rejoice that we woke up this morning in the greatest city in America.  Don’t laugh:  some of you had to drive here. I look forward to hearing from Mayor Berke about the incredible progress Chattanooga has achieved in recent years in harnessing the power of innovation, the power of technology, and the power of talent and places densely located in an innovative district to generate new business opportunities and new career opportunities for Chattanooga’s citizens. Of course, we have made great progress in Norfolk over many years, and of late, in leveraging our history and our historic assets to build a better looking future.

2017 GNC President’s Report

GNC Annual Meeting, May 24, 2017 - Charles V. McPhillips   Over the last several years, this organization and our allied thought leaders have coalesced around some big ideas, which, if implemented, would build upon the momentum Norfolk currently enjoys and make a significant difference in our future.  These big ideas have been vetted in various task forces convened by the GNC and in a couple of cases, these ideas have been further validated by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation’s blue-ribbon Workforce Development Study Group and then established as regional priorities by Reinvent Hampton Roads under the able leadership of Jim Spore. As you know, most of these initiatives are centered around one essential big idea – that our future depends less on recruiting companies to move here and more on attracting, developing and retaining the talent that will create and fill the highly-skilled, high-tech, high-paying jobs our region sorely needs and currently lacks. Through this work we have developed enough good ideas – enough good big ideas – that I am now declaring a moratorium on new big ideas until we fully implement the ones we have on our agenda. I say this not to disparage what we have accomplished thus far.

2016 President’s Report

GNC Annual Meeting, June 7, 2016 - Chuck McPhillips This afternoon I will take just a few minutes to talk about GNC's role in devising a new economic development game plan for Norfolk and the region.  I am proud of the leadership that GNC has exhibited in first calling for a debate over our region's economic development strategy and then, I believe, in winning the debate over necessary course corrections in that strategy.  Indeed, something is rising in Norfolk beside the sea level.  We are rising to the challenge of retooling ourselves into a more diverse, more innovative and less federally dependent economy. Truth be told, we started this movement five or six years ago groping around in the dark for a way out of the economic mulligrubs we suddenly found ourselves in.  At a retreat, many of you remarked on how your children were not returning to this region because they found better job opportunities or living options elsewhere.

2015 President’s Report

Over the past two years, GNC has guided a conversation, indeed a debate, about the future of economic development in Norfolk and the surrounding region. We brought an impressive array of advisors into the conversation, including (via his research and writings) Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, the author of The Metropolitan Revolution. We concluded that we still needed to compete for Stone Brewery and other out-of-town companies potentially interested in coming to our City and region. But when a majority of new jobs in the U.S. economy are created by local start-up companies, followed next by expanding local businesses and with businesses relocations a distant and statistically insignificant third, we concluded that Norfolk and this region can no longer rely on an economic development strategy consisting entirely of whale hunting, i.