Grant allows for study of 316

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Georgia Bioscience Joint Development Authority received a $50,000 grant to help create goals for the development of the Ga. Highway 316 corridor.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the short-term planning grant to help the Authority conduct an economic development study of the Ga. 316 corridor to determine what resources are available and how best to use them to create high-paying jobs for Gwinnett, Barrow, Oconee and Athens-Clarke counties, said Charles Bannister, chairman of the Georgia Bioscience Joint Development Authority.

"The 55-mile corridor is important to not only the northeast Innovation Crescent technology area but to the state," said Bannister, who is also the chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. "We have the potential to develop a significant logistics corridor linking a network that can provide world-class support of life sciences and technology-based research, information and manufacturing.

"The study is critical in creating a plan and process for setting development priorities and policy initiatives."

The objective of the study will be to record the best information on the Ga. 316 region and, in particular, the four counties that make up the Authority to understand the economic environment, compare the economic characteristics to similar markets and to develop a work plan that engages all parties resulting in technology-based economic development strategies, the grant request states.

Study completion is targeted for the fall.

The 12-member Georgia Bioscience Joint Development Authority includes Athens-Clarke, Barrow, Gwinnett and Oconee counties. Its purpose is to develop and promote trade, commerce, industry and employment opportunities for the Ga. 316 corridor.