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Forsyth County has experienced explosive growth of technology firms over the last five years. The first indicator that Forsyth County’s economy was shifting substantially toward technology came in 2015 when the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) ranked Forsyth County #1 on the list of most innovative economies on their Innovation Index.
Economic development initiatives including the adoption of the Forsyth County Economic Development Strategic Plan and the creation of the Forward Forsyth economic development partnership focused strategic efforts to fuel the growth and development of technology firms in the community.
Forward Forsyth, the community’s economic development organization housed within the Forsyth County Chamber announced that it had taken an important step in fostering the growth of new technology firms in Forsyth County: Forward Forsyth has officially joined Georgia’s Innovation Crescent. On September 17, 2020 the Board of Directors for Georgia’s Innovation Crescent voted to accept the request from the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and Forward Forsyth for inclusion into the organization. The addition of Forsyth County brings the organization to 16 member counties.
In 2007, under Governor Sonny Perdue’s Work Ready Initiative, the Georgia’s Innovation Crescent was created. Initially the focus was to bring recognition and promote Georgia’s cluster of life science assets from Atlanta to Athens. As a result of the technology industry explosion in the region, in 2013 the technology sector was added as a target sector for the membership organization.
Georgia’s Innovation Crescent has quietly emerged as one of the leading innovation clusters in the nation. It boasts top research organizations such as Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Georgia and Georgia State University; teaching institutions including Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine, government entities and non-profits like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, plus more than 16,000 life science and technology companies, large and small. The inclusion of Forsyth County offers one more avenue in which Forsyth’s booming technology sector will be highlighted with these institutions in numerous national and international trade shows. Inclusion into this life science and technology cluster illustrates Forsyth County’s important role in producing the region’s top workforce talent to site selectors and private industry considering Georgia as a possible location.
“This was a priority in the County’s Economic Development Strategic Plan. With the announcement of Tech Park Forsyth creating nearly one million square feet of space for technology firms, the continued success of technology startup incubator, Digital Ignition; the timing of Forsyth County joining the Innovation Crescent couldn’t be better” said Carter Patterson, Chairman of the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and President of Forte Data. “Forsyth County has a unique economic ecosystem to support technology firms that separates us from many other communities. We have one of the most highly educated talent pools in the nation, a nationally recognized school system, an incredible network of supporting startups and entrepreneurs and a pro-tech business culture.”