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DC Innovation Strategy for Saint Elizabeths


The DC Innovation Strategy examines the potential for an innovation hub at St. Elizabeths East that can stimulate economic and community development in Ward 8 and promote the city’s innovation sector. Led by the Office of Planning in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the study investigated ways for the District to tap into the homeland security economy by linking local businesses and residents to procurement, employment and educational opportunities.

The study conducted an asset and opportunity analysis that assessed the District’s competitive position and found that the District’s total homeland security procurement is substantial, totaling more than $15.5 billion in a five-year period, with opportunity for growth in small business and innovation activities. The study also highlighted the District’s employment concentrations in management, administrative and security occupations and the importance of career pathways for residents. The study includes a blueprint for an innovation hub and implementation strategies, which were informed by the analysis and stakeholder discussions.

The innovation hub at St. Elizabeths is envisioned as an integrated center of research, education, training, entrepreneurship, technology transfer and private sector commercial activities. It is intended to support neighborhood revitalization efforts and position the District at the core of a regional innovation economy, leveraging the presence of homeland security, defense and intelligence agencies, contractors and innovators.

The study was undertaken in the context of a growing technology and innovation sector in the District and a need to harness this strength and help grow the entrepreneurial base and talent capacity in neighborhoods East of the Anacostia River. The study was funded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, and was completed in December 2012.