Developing the knowledge economy in Providence

Among the various strategies through which city and state officials, research institutions and the business community have sought to build Rhode Island’s innovation economy, the most ambitious may be the plan to redevelop Providence’s historic Jewelry District as a hub for knowledge-based businesses. Since the concept was first proposed nearly a decade ago, Brown has been a major participant in the ongoing revitalization of the Jewelry District.   Brown’s contributions to this process have included:

Turning a former factory building at 70 Ship Street into a center for biomedical research;

Moving the Warren Alpert Medical School to a 134,000 square-foot renovated industrial building at 222 Richmond Street; and

Moving Brown’s Division of Continuing Education into a new building at 200 Dyer Street.   

As a result of these investments, Brown estimates that it currently has approximately 1,000 faculty, staff and students working, studying and doing research in the Jewelry District.

In addition to the University’s direct investments in the area, many of the new companies cited in the preceding pages are clustered in the Jewelry District. They include Accelereach, Axena Technologies, EpiVax, NABsys, Narragansett Brewing, NuLabel, Shape Up G-Form and Tivorsan Pharmaceuticals. These companies are on the leading edge of the transformation of the Jewelry District into a community of innovators and entrepreneurs.