Miami University Announces Grand Opening of Lee and Rosemary Fisher Innovation College@Elm
Innovation and workforce development center in Oxford showcases success of JobsOhio’s Vibrant Community Grant program as it expands
(Oxford, Ohio) – Miami University is celebrating the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Lee and Rosemary Fisher Innovation College@Elm. This new innovation and workforce development center is a modern, vibrant facility for incubating and accelerating entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses that offers the training and workforce education necessary to produce Ohio’s future manufacturing and high-tech workforce.
A public-private partnership between Miami University, the City of Oxford, and The Fischer Group, the Fisher Innovation College@Elm transforms a 39,000-square-foot vacant building into a hub of creativity and innovation, imagination and design, and art and science. The incubator leverages Miami's entrepreneurship, business, and engineering expertise to build Butler County as an epicenter of inclusive innovation.
“All of our partners and donors have been committed and engaged in creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem right here in Oxford, Ohio,” said Miami University President Gregory Crawford. “College@Elm will demonstrate the value of infusing talented and creative people into the local entrepreneurial ecosystems and establish a model for communities like Oxford of the powerful synergies of technology and art, imagination and ingenuity that will restore the Midwest as the nation’s economic engine and advance local economies.”
Fisher Innovation College@Elm is expected to convert a three-block undeveloped area in Oxford’s business district into a high-tech innovation and creativity corridor. Anchor tenants include The Fischer Group, 1809 Capital, the city of Oxford, and Miami University.
“The incubator leverages Miami's entrepreneurship, business, and engineering expertise to build Butler County as an epicenter of inclusive innovation,” said Randi Malcolm Thomas, vice president of ASPIRE at Miami. “College@Elm will be the lighthouse, the beacon for community members, regardless of their educational attainment, who have an idea and would like to get assistance on how to develop that idea further and make it a viable business entity.”
In partnership with REDI Cincinnati, a private nonprofit economic development corporation and JobsOhio Network Partner, the Fisher Innovation College@Elm was one of the first projects to receive assistance from the JobsOhio Vibrant Community Grant program, which was established to assist small and medium-sized communities with the implementation of catalytic development projects, like the College@Elm, that fulfill a market need and represent a significant reinvestment in Ohio communities. In addition to celebrating the new facility’s grand opening, JobsOhio is announcing the expansion of the Vibrant Community Grant program from 96 to 370 eligible communities.
“Our smaller and mid-sized cities, like Oxford, are a rich part of the social fabric of this state, and with the expansion of the Vibrant Communities Grant Program, even the smallest villages in Ohio can better develop their communities to build a stronger economic future,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “The grand opening of the College@Elm at Miami University is an example of how Ohio’s colleges and universities are not only developing talent, but they are also shaping new partnerships, new opportunities, and improved quality of life that will keep graduates here for decades.”
JobsOhio is expanding the Vibrant Community Grant program to support additional communities across the state by widening the population requirement for eligibility, allowing villages with fewer than 5,000 residents to apply for funding. The program guidelines will maintain the 75,000 resident cap aimed at providing funding to small and mid-sized towns in Ohio. Eligible municipalities must also be at or above the state poverty rate to apply for grant funding.
“As one of the first Vibrant Community Program investments, College@Elm demonstrates how public-private partnerships can fuel innovation, build businesses and create jobs in underserved communities that have historically played a critical role in Ohio’s economic success,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “The impact of the College@Elm project will spark growth throughout Butler County and serves as an example of why JobsOhio is expanding the opportunity to receive Vibrant Community assistance to 274 more communities throughout Ohio.”
A grand opening ceremony for the Lee and Rosemary Fisher College@Elm will be held on Thursday, February 16, at 6:30 p.m. The program will honor naming donors Lee ’69 and Rosemary ’68 Fisher, Miami alumni and longtime university supporters. Local dignitaries, university leaders, and funding partners will also be on hand for the ribbon cutting and tours of the building.
Established in 1809, Miami University is consistently ranked among the top 50 national public universities by the U.S. News & World Report for providing students with an Ivy League-quality education at a public school price. Located in quintessential college town Oxford, Ohio—with regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, a learning center in West Chester, and a European study center in Luxembourg—Miami serves more than 21,600 undergraduates across 120 areas of study, and more than 2,500 graduate students through 70 master’s and doctoral degree programs. At this comprehensive research university, students engage and conduct research with premiere teacher-scholars. Miami adds $2.3 billion each year to Ohio’s economy through innovative partnerships and job creation. Miami is a NCAA Division I school, serving more than 500 student athletes across 19 varsity sports. For more information, visit MiamiOH.edu.
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