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Technology & Innovation

Feb. 1- As ‘Geekend’ opens this weekend, The Creative Coast asks City Council to formally support Savannah as a ‘Tech Corridor’

Category: Technology & Innovation

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 1, 2018 – Board members of The Creative Coast, led by the group’s chairman Clifton Edminster, spoke at Thursday’s City Council to bring attention to the final Georgia Senate’s Resolution 410, which passed during the 2017 session. That Resolution agrees to designated Savannah and Augusta as ‘Information Technology Corridors’ Georgia.    

However, Savannah was not initially even mentioned or considered by the General Assembly study committee that had looked at supporting the technology industry in Georgia, according to Keith Fletcher, COO of Speros, the Savannah-headquartered tech company, who testified at the Senate hearings to insure that Savannah was added to the Senate resolution.

Senate Resolution 410 initially agreed that it would be beneficial for Georgia to create state incentives, “as well as opportunities for future incentives for technology growth; and that it would be beneficial to study the establishment of specific corridors in this state that would directly foster the growth of information technology.” 

Outlined were a number of potential sites that could be enhanced by the state … “including, but not limited to, the route between Atlanta and Athens along Highway 316, the route between Atlanta and Macon along I-75, the route between Atlanta and Alpharetta along State Route 400, and the route between Atlanta and Augusta along I-20.”  There was no mention of Savannah.

However, the final study report then added Savannah, and concluded that only Savannah and Augusta would be designated, according to Edminster, with Augusta as the hub of a new cybertechnology efforts for the country, and Savannah designated a corridor for logistics innovation.

But, Edminster states that The Creative Coast is working on efforts with the chair of the Senate study committee to expand the Savannah definition to a broader technology vision.  Being a designated corridor opens up tax incentives and other benefits. 

The study committee was comprised of five members, including the chairpersons of the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and the Senate Science and Technology Committee, plus three non-legislative members of the committee:  an official or employee of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia; an official or employee of the Department of Economic Development; and an individual from the Georgia business community who is knowledgeable concerning the economic development of the technology industry.

The Council voted unanimously to designate an ‘Information Technology Corridor’ in Savannah.  The ‘corridor’ will be designated somewhere in Savannah, it was explained.  

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