Wexford Innovation Center breaks ground on former highway land in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Before nearly 200 people gathered on a glorious Monday morning, Wexford Science & Technology President and CEO James Berens spoke of why he has persevered for three years to negotiate with state leaders and future tenants of an innovation center the Baltimore firm will now build on two acres of vacant, former highway land.

Like state leaders, Berens said he has high hopes the $88-million center will ensure the concentration of talent, money, programs and companies necessary to support innovative ideas in the state and its capital city. By convening universities, private enterprise and entrepreneurs on this land, Berens said he expects new ideas to spawn new companies.

“Particularly in smaller markets, if your assets are spread out, they have less impact on the environment around them,” Berens said. If they can attract and keep entrepreneurs here, he said, “Then talent will cluster here, and talent is the main ingredient of economic growth.”

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