Beta District Leads Alpha-Level Innovation
Credit: Chris Alexis, Columbus Underground
As the world takes its first steps into 2023, the future is wide open. And the City of Dublin looks to be a leader in showing everyone what that future has to offer.
In a word: Innovation.
Dublin is part of what’s known as the Beta District: a geographic area that connects the city with Marysville, Union County and Columbus. And that connection is technology-centered research and development.
A Cluster of Collaboration
The district is “the result of collaboration among public, private and academic entities that are located along the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor and have common goals to attract innovative businesses to the area to beta test next-generation technologies,” according to City of Dublin Director of Communications and Public Information Lindsay Weisenauer.
The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor is where leaders in the automotive industry link up with both government and academia to safely test the next generation of transportation technology. Geographically, it begins in Dublin and goes to the east through Marysville, ending at the Transportation Research Center (TRC) Inc. in East Liberty.
Various companies have set up camp within the Beta District, putting their brightest minds to work. The current lineup includes Battelle, Cardinal Health, Nestle, Honda, Scotts Miracle-Gro and The Ohio State University, among numerous other thought leaders.
According to the official website, the district is ideal for companies in the ag-tech, healthcare, automotive manufacturing, logistics & distribution, transportation, insurance, technology, finance, smart cities and aerospace industries.
It takes collaboration to make the Beta District tick, and together governmental entities including Dublin, Marysville, Union County and the Marysville-Union County Port Authority are paving the way for something truly unique.
“In the Beta District, multiple government agencies work together to accelerate innovation and remove red tape,” said Weisenauer. “It offers an ecosystem of smart infrastructure and living labs where leaders in all industry sectors can tap into resources and collaboration on groundbreaking projects.”
The Beginning of Beta
The concept was first considered back in 2014 when the NW 33 Innovation Corridor Council of Governments met to discuss and plan development along the U.S. 33 corridor.
Those governments were made up of Dublin, Marysville, Jerome and Millcreek Townships, Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning and Union County.
Piece by piece, the district came together, officially launching in 2020.
Perks for the People
The Beta District will directly benefit Dublin residents, including job opportunities and the various advantages of having additional growth within the region, said City of Dublin Director of Economic Development Jennifer Klus.
“For example, Dublin residents have benefitted by having increased access to healthcare through Ohio State’s Outpatient Care Dublin, which opened in 2022, joining Dublin’s growing medical cluster. That’s a benefit for both job opportunities and quality of life,” she added.
Dublin’s leaders want to evolve the municipality into the “the most sustainable, connected and resilient global city of choice,” Weisenauer said.
“Our focus on world-class, innovative services is what makes us an ideal part of the Beta District,” she continued. “As a community, we can leverage the best of this unique region where private sector businesses, government and academic institutions are working together, and that offers huge benefits to our residents and corporate partners.”
New Year, New Innovations
On her end, Klus is excited for what 2023 will bring.
She pointed to Össur Academy in Dublin, where they continue to develop innovative technologies in orthopedics and prosthetics to improve mobility for people. She also highlighted Andelyn Biosciences, which produces gene therapies that improve or cure rare diseases. It’s a company that’s been involved in more than 75 worldwide clinical trials.
Those are just two of many examples of companies who are currently beta-testing technology that will impact the future.
And all it’s part of Dublin’s present.