Anchored by the 240-acre Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, the community is emerging as a leading technology center for health care, research, science, and advanced manufacturing. One of the major advantages of attracting technology and life science companies to Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County is the superior power and telecom infrastructure that exists. Winston-Salem lies just west of the major Internet Backbone that traverses the eastern United States. In addition, there is an expansive effort to make downtown wireless.

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is a unique campus-style development in downtown Winston-Salem. This world-class research environment is a collaborative effort between academia, government and the private sector, with developable sites to accommodate up to 300,000 square feet of lab and R&D buildings. Wake Forest Innovation Quarter provides value added services to growth companies by offering office and laboratory space in a highly interactive, master-planned, advanced technology community. The primary targets for the Innovation Quarter are the small-to medium-sized, high-growth technology companies focused on imaging, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, nutrition, medical devices and information technologies.

The Innovation Quarter is home to private enterprises, public companies and university-based research operations. Notable tenants include Inmar, Clinical Ink, Venture Cafe, the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

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WiFi on Fourth

In April 2003, Winston-Salem launched “WiFi on Fourth” which offers free Wireless Internet access along Fourth Street between Spruce and Main streets. People in restaurants and businesses along Fourth Street can access the Internet through high-speed connections and enjoy browsing the Web, checking and sending e-mail, or chatting through instant messaging services. When the city launched “WiFi on Fourth,” Winston-Salem was the first city in the nation to offer free wireless Internet access in a downtown area.


WinstonNet is a high-speed fiber-optic communication system that links the schools, libraries, city and county government, medical centers, the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, and local industry. WinstonNet was a major component in Winston-Salem’s achievement as a “Top 7 Intelligent Community” in the world in 2008 by the Intelligent Community Forum.

First conceived in 1997, WinstonNet today comprises a 25-mile fiber-optic ring connecting area colleges and universities with Forsyth Technical Community College, and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System, the county’s public library system as well as other county and city governmental offices.