Innovation black box
Innovation Infrastructure Graphic


SP@CE helps to facilitate the creation of a public-private partnership made up of the institutional stakeholders of the innovation ecosystem.

SP@CE works with the investment community to build a large-scale innovation district to meet the demands of the next-generation of problem solvers.

Broadly, an “innovation district” is a geographic area where “leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators.

They are also physically compact, transit-accessible, and technically-wired and offer mixed-use housing, office, and retail.”

Innovation District Model

An innovation district begins as a large “innovation hub” or closely connected series of hubs that allow for the co-location of people and resources from all parts of the stakeholder network.

SP@CE also develops best-practices around a series of prototype incubator and accelerator programs whose missions will be to systematically manufacture high-impact and high-reward startups and projects. Initial prototypes will focus on data science, bio-tech, and social innovation.


Additional reading: The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation.

Homepage header image from, a working prototype for Charlottesville’s innovation atlas.

Innovation district model image by Ghazal Abbasy.