The Piedmont Triad Research Park is no more, reborn as of Monday with a new name.

The Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

Companies not affiliated with the university or Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center can opt for a shorter name:

Innovation Quarter.

The name change was announced Monday along with the arrival of three new tenants. All were either started by or include former Targacept employees.

The Winston-Salem based biopharmaceutical firm over the past year has slashed most of its work force.

Wake Forest Innovations, which seeks to commercialize technology developed at Wake Forest, provided part of the insirpation for the new name. 

“The opportunity to create a dynamic hub for innovation in the biomedical sciences and information technology here in Winston-Salem represents the evolution of the classic research park,” said Eric Tomlinson , Ph.D., the chief innovation officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center who also is president of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, “in which we can support and encourage all of the community to engage creatively with one another both socially and professionally.”

Tomlinson took over as head of the Triad park last June.

The name change came after “consultation with key stakeholders in and beyond the community and an analysis of park names worldwide,” the medical center said.  ”This new brand builds on the name of the Medical Center’s commercialization enterprise, Wake Forest Innovations, and at the same time differentiates the urban-based Innovation Quarter from other research parks in the state and nation. The Innovation Quarter portion of the name suggests more than a place to work and reinforces the urban model where people Work, Live, Learn and Play. Further, ‘Wake Forest Innovation Quarter’ positions the development of a major eco-system in downtown Winston-Salem as a new national hub for innovation in biomedical technology, materials science, and information technology.”

New Tenants

The three firms – two new, one which chose to locate its North American operations in Winston-Salem, are:

  • Blue Atom Technologies provides software tools designed to increase efficiencies and probability of success in chemical research and development through use of search and predictive analytics, molecular modeling and chemistry experience. The firm has five employees now and plans to have 15 by the end of 2013.
  • Biolucidation is a contract research firm focused on non-clinical abuse liability testing services. It has five employees and plans to have 10 by the end of 2014.
  • AsInEx, a Russian medicinal chemistry company, already has 11 employees, including several former Targacept chemists, and plans to have a staff of 30 by year’s end.

New Websites for Services

The newly named Innovation Quarter also launched three websites focused on services offered:

  • Preclinical Translational Services ( “This unit offers Wake Forest’s extensive research capabilities in medical device and therapeutic testing to its partners. The initiative expands existing work and relationships in comparative medicine and preclinical surgical services that provide testing of medical treatment options to patients more quickly and cost-effectively. For example, the unit performs safety and efficacy testing of orthopaedic and other medical devices as well as testing of vaccines and other drugs. Generating preclinical data is the critical first step to gain FDA approval to begin trials in humans.”
  • Core Laboratory Services ( “This new unit offers the services of a growing number of Wake Forest’s internal scientific core labs to support industry. This capability is especially important to young companies that may not have the ability to purchase or train on expensive equipment or maintain a specialty lab in order to get a product to market. For example, if a company needs to use a mass spectrometer or electron microscope, the company could work with labs that have this equipment to advance their product development in a cost-effective manner.”
  • Ultrasound Education ( “This unit offers ultrasound education in the newest advanced technologies, such as elastography (an imaging technology that provides better diagnosis of tumors and lesions), and is an expansion of Wake Forest’s existing ultrasound education business. Physicians, sonographers and other allied health professionals often take this training to increase their knowledge and remain current in the use of leading-edge ultrasound technology.”