Virginia Tech has formed a Creativity and Innovation District — an area along the eastern edge of campus where it intersects with downtown Blacksburg — to champion the complexities of innovation, from idea creation to commercialization.

“The creation of the district is intended to enhance our distinctive strengths in 21st-century creativity and collaborative innovation,” says Thanassis Rikakis, the university’s executive vice president and provost. “Creativity today is highly dimensional and inclusive. The district will therefore promote strategic partnerships among students and faculty on campus, the local community, and private companies and organizations.”

The district will encompass a range of programs and facilities already in the area, including the School of Performing Arts and its principal performance space, Theatre 101; the Moss Arts Center; the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and the School of Visual Arts. The district designation will guide future thinking, repurpose assets, create physical space to leverage both creative and entrepreneurial activities — and spark the powerful innovations that can emerge at the intersection of the two.

“Creativity and innovation are at the core of what our faculty and students strive for,” says Elizabeth Spiller, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. “We recognize that technology alone is never a solution because creativity and innovation are fundamentally human achievements. In bringing together our collective strengths in art, knowledge-making, information technology, and the innovative thinking that is the hallmark of liberal education, the Creativity and Innovation District will help ensure that Virginia Tech students from every discipline have the tools and perspectives they need to achieve meaningful solutions to complex human problems.”

Written by John Pastor