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The Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI) has announced the launch of a new global health district in Midtown Atlanta that is poised to become the world's leading hub for innovation at the intersection of global health, health technology, and life sciences, solidifying the region as the world's global health capital.
Maria Thacker Goethe, CEO of CGHI, said the District will help meet the increasing demand for laboratory space in the region, enabling the continued growth of life sciences businesses in the State.
Atlanta is home to leading global health organizations such as the CDC, CDC Foundation, the Task Force for Global Health, the American Cancer Society, MedShare, MAP International and the Carter Center, along with research universities including Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, and other University System of Georgia Schools. The region also enjoys a burgeoning life sciences and digital health community, including UCB, Alcon, Sharecare, Microsoft, Boehringer Ingelheim, Takeda, Becton Dickinson, VERO Biotech, MiRus, McKesson, Jackson Healthcare, Azalea Health, and more.
"We thank the Center for Global Health Innovation for leading this effort to establish a health innovation hub, which was one of the priorities established by the Chamber's Global Health ATL initiative. This Innovation District will enable growth across every sector and add even more opportunity to build and develop the growing talent pool in life sciences, health technology, and public health," said Katie Kirkpatrick, President & CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
The Global Health Innovation District will provide a central place for this rich assortment of public sector, private sector and community organizations to meet and collaborate. The launch of the District — enabled by strategic partnerships with an anonymous West Coast foundation, Sharecare and Transwestern — is the culmination of a four-year-long effort begun by 60 of Atlanta's global health leaders and over 200 community volunteers across leading organizations convened by the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Deloitte, Georgia Bio, and the Georgia Global Health Alliance, the latter two of which merged to form the Center for Global Health Innovation. The new District is expected to be a major job generator, accelerating corporate and private investment, building and attracting businesses, and developing workforce from the region's unparalleled diverse talent base.
"As a natural extension of Tech Square, this District is going to be the heart of innovation in the Southeast out of which we will not only grow economic opportunities but also address important health equity issues," Thacker Goethe said. "It's going to be a place where we serve as a connector and an enabler for innovative partnerships, particularly between the public health sector and the private sector, and we are grateful to Sharecare and Transwestern for their partnership in helping us realize this vision for our city, our state, and the future of global health."
"At Sharecare, we are driven by our philosophy that we are 'all together better,' and the District is a manifestation of that, uniquely positioned to harness the incomparable energy and expertise that Atlanta and Georgia bear across the health continuum to advance and scale well-being transformation, locally and globally," said Jeff Arnold, Chairman and CEO of Sharecare. "The use-inspired discovery and invention that will happen in this hub will accelerate public-private partnerships and innovation, and we urge more business, community, and philanthropic leaders to answer the call to join this unprecedented collaborative effort."
The District will be anchored by 200,000 square feet of conference center, laboratory, and office space leased and operated by CGHI at Tower Square, the 47-story high rise formerly occupied by AT&T. This initial hub will house a diverse set of participants including renowned incubation and acceleration organizations, corporates, NGOs, universities, health systems, midsize-small businesses, community groups, and venture funds. The 75,000 square foot conference center and cafe will provide a nexus for large conferences and small gatherings in the heart of Tech Square.
Clark Dean, Executive Managing Director at Transwestern in Atlanta, who led the complex real estate effort, said this initial hub had to be economically sustainable and centrally located to activate and enrich the region's network of health and technology related entities.
"You can't just wave a magic wand and make a building appear, but in this case it's almost like we did, because sitting right there, at the intersection of Tech Square moving south and 'health square' marching north, is a vacant 47-story tower complex," Dean said. "It had the perfect space for a world-class conference facility, and had infrastructure that could be converted to laboratory floors and office space in a cost-effective way, enabling a business model for the Center that meets the needs of the community and generates sustainable surplus that will be used to reinvest in global health, workforce training, and economic development programs."
Chris Port, Executive Vice President of CBRE, who leads the leasing team for the Tower Square facility along with his partners Kyle Kenyon and Alex Port, envisions this hub attracting a host of other industry related entities that wish to be proximate to and engaged with the resources, programs and initiatives provided by the Center. "Tower Square is proud to house this exciting innovation cluster. The building's combination of premium location and visibility, institutional-grade infrastructure, column-free interiors, activatable balconies, and large-scale common area amenities, makes it perfect for businesses and institutions who want to attract the best minds in health and technology," Port said.
The Center for Global Health Innovation will move into the new space in winter 2022.