Research & Innovation

Research & Innovation Guide Ohio’s Global Economic Strategies

Ohio Research and Innovation

One of the keys to success lies in the capacity for innovation. Research and development (R&D) can foster economic prosperity and, in Ohio, R&D is facilitated within an array of connected incubators, universities and private corporations. These networks channel investment, streamline invention and accelerate commercialization.

The investments that drive economic growth and spur innovation come from a variety of public, private and philanthropic sources. In Ohio, they stem from strategic grants and collaborations that leverage institutions of excellence.

Research and innovation are ever-present in Ohio’s strategies to compete in the global economy. They bridge the gap between the pursuit of knowledge and speed to market.

Public-Private Partnerships

In Ohio, combining the visions and resources of public and private entities dedicated to research and innovation has led to the development of networks and technology that bolster business. Combined, the state of Ohio and private industries invest $10 billion annually to science and engineering research. Below are some of the public-private partnerships accessible to companies.

  • America Makes is the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), technology research, discovery, creation and innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership, America Makes innovates and accelerates AM/3DP to increase the nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness.
  • Cintrifuse is made up of people, funds and ideas all dedicated to establishing a stronger tech presence that will ultimately improve the economy for the Greater Cincinnati area. It is a public-private partnership created to drive the next phase of growth for the region – innovation that will be enabled and delivered by startups.
  • Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, IACMI, is a partnership of industry and academic institutions, as well as federal, state and local governments. This diverse partnership validates manufacturing technologies that respond to private industry’s need for faster and more cost effective, material, and energy-efficient composite manufacturing, including recycling at the end of product life. IACMI’s research and development programs are driven by major industry participation with a focus on reducing technical risk and developing a robust supply chain to support a growing advanced composites industry.

Ohio Technology Propels Business Forward

Thanks to a collaborative tech community, Ohio’s businesses, institutions and educational organizations are on the cutting edge of a digital shift.

The integration of technology is a necessary evolution to be efficient, stay relevant and stay profitable. From healthtech to the internet of things (IoT), smart mobility and fintech, companies are adopting new technology and seeing success in Ohio. Companies in Ohio collaborate with each other, educational institutions and public and private entities to open joint innovation centers, spin off new ventures and pursue innovations.

For example:

  • Kroger and leading British online grocer Ocado are slated to augment Kroger's digital and robotics capabilities and extend its omnichannel reach.
  • The Cleveland Foundation, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University have formed an alliance around IoT.
  • Ohio’s internationally recognized hospitals have given rise to new companies using healthtech to detect heart disease early.

Ohio has a thriving technology environment made up of startups, Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, and everything in between. Some of these companies are completely dedicated to a tech solution, others are looking for ways to use tech to make some element of business better.

Take Ohio-based Kroger, for example. Today, the country’s largest grocer does more than stock shelves; it is a leading practitioner of technology solutions. Services like order online with in-store pickup, “Scan, Bag, Go,” and personalized digital coupons make shopping easier and more convenient for its customers. Additionally, Kroger’s spinoff brands, Kroger Technology and 84.51°, are specifically dedicated to analytics and technology that improve the customer experience.

The alliance between Honda and the city of Marysville is another great example of a private-public partnership as well as smart technology collaboration occurring in Ohio. Honda and Marysville worked together to install connected vehicle technology at one of the city’s busiest intersections.

Ohio is home to several diverse industries. Whether it is agribusiness or financial services, energy or logistics, companies are making the digital shift to stay relevant. As tech-savvy companies continue to evolve, no matter their goals, they are finding the resources and supportive environment in Ohio to make it happen.

Capital and Business Supporters

A statewide network of capital and business support creates a continuum of assistance for company creation, early-stage seed and venture funding, and corporate partnerships to scale and reach market penetration. Ohio has numerous capital and business supporters, see a sample below.

  • Battelle is a private, nonprofit applied science and technology development company dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing issues with a focus on giving back to the communities where it operates. Battelle conducts research and development, manages laboratories, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for its clients – which include multinational corporations, startups and government agencies.Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) represent more than $100 million in state investments and offer cutting-edge technology applications to improve education and enhance business.
    • OARnet is a next-generation broadband superhighway consisting of more than 2,240 miles of fiber-optic backbone operating at an ultra-fast 100 gigabits per second, the fastest broadband available. The network blankets the state, giving businesses a single connection to Ohio’s R&D resources, including colleges and universities, K-12 schools, public broadcasting stations, academic medical centers, government agencies and partnering research organizations. OARnet helps businesses reduce operating costs and gives them access to a wide array of specialized tools, such as electron microscopes, that may be outside of their budget.
    • OSC, a supercomputer center, features scalable mid-range machines similar to those found at national centers operated by organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the Ohio Department of Energy. OSC provides clients with integrated hardware, software and consulting services all under the same roof.
  • The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center (UASC) is a division of the Ohio Department of Transportation and serves as the premier UASC support agency for the state of Ohio. The center advances UASC and supports flight operations for local, state and federal government and agencies. It supports research, development, testing and evaluation of UASC for government and agency applications.
  • NASA Glenn Research Center designs and develops innovative technology to advance NASA’s missions in aeronautics and space exploration. Its work enables faster, safer, more efficient, more environmentally-friendly aircraft and more efficient airspace operations. It works to expand human and robotic exploration capabilities and identifies and infuses aerospace technologies and expertise into emerging markets.
  • Air Force Research Lab is the only organization wholly dedicated to leading the discovery, development and integration of war-fighting technologies for the nation’s air, space and cyberspace forces. The facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base researches aerospace systems, materials and manufacturing sensors among other things.
  • EWI is a nonprofit whose mission is to shape the future of manufacturing through innovative technology solutions. It is the leading engineering and technology organization in North America dedicated to developing, testing and implementing advanced manufacturing technologies for industry.
  • JobsOhio Research & Development (R&D) Center Grant Program provides qualified companies with an incentive to establish new R&D centers in Ohio and position the state favorably to win production facilities after R&D products and services are commercialized. The R&D Center Grant Program allows JobsOhio to make strategic investments in new R&D centers that support targeted industries and the evolution of the Ohio economy such as: additive manufacturing (3D printing), advanced materials, aero propulsion, autonomous vehicles, biomedical, cybersecurity, data analytics, financial technology (fintech), energy storage/fuel cells, Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and unmanned aerial systems.
  • Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) has provided a unique blend of business solutions, innovation and technical expertise to the food processing, agricultural and manufacturing sectors. These services are designed to enhance the economic performance of the industries and create jobs.
  • Transportation Research Center (TRC) is the largest independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds in the U.S. The nonprofit facility has approximately 4,500 acres of road courses, wooded trails, a 7.5-mile (12.1 km) high-speed oval test track and more, giving companies the ability to test a variety of vehicles and components in any kind of weather.
  • Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test (SMART) Center is the result of a $45 million collaborative investment between the state of Ohio, The Ohio State University and JobsOhio for the first phase of a state-of-the-art hub for automated and autonomous testing at the The all-new, 540-acre SMART Center will be the nation’s largest independent automotive proving ground.

Academic and Clinical Resources

Ohio’s roster of colleges and universities includes a number of schools with national and international reputations for research excellence. Some schools feature innovation centers that stimulate businesses and economic development. Below are a few of Ohio’s academic and clinical resources available to companies.

  • The 1819 Innovation Hub at The University of Cincinnati is a place of thinking, making and doing, of discovery and delivery, for the university and its community. The 100,000-square-foot building is outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and incorporates shared office spaces, classrooms, huddle rooms and gathering spaces to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurial activity.
  • Sears think[box] at Case Western Reserve University illuminates the pathway for aspiring entrepreneurs and university researchers to create real-world impact. This world-class, public-access innovation center is a key to accessing a complete ecosystem for venture creation including everything from design and ideation resources to prototyping and fabrication equipment, as well as the legal and business expertise needed to launch startups in this incubator.
  • Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx) which is part of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, connects industry and other businesses with professors, students, equipment and facilities available at Ohio research universities. OIEx currently provides access to more than 13,000 faculty members and 600 resources from campuses and laboratories around the state with a mission to facilitate collaboration between Ohio’s leading academic and business minds.
  • University of Dayton Research Institute proposes and performs sponsored research that provides innovative solutions through quality research and advanced technology. The staff of over 500 people specialize in research, development, application and transition of technology in diverse fields, including materialsstructuresenergy, propulsion, manufacturingsensors, intelligence and much more.
  • Innovation Center at Ohio University provides business incubation resources to fuel the economy in Athens, Ohio, and surrounding regions.
  • Youngstown Business Incubator is an internationally recognized program focused on the development of software and additive manufacturing companies in the Mahoning Valley. It was ranked the No. 1 high impact incubation program in North America by UBI Global in 2015.
  • BioEnterprise is a business formation, recruitment and acceleration nonprofit designed to grow healthcare companies and commercialize bioscience technologies. Based in Cleveland, BioEnterprise’s founders and partners are Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. The initiative comprises the collective activities of BioEnterprise and its partners’ commercialization offices.
  • Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. The Cleveland Clinic is one of the largest and most-respected hospitals in the country.
  • University Hospitals is a nonprofit health system affiliated with Case Western Reserve University. It includes more than 24,000 physicians and employees. It calls upon a vast network of primary care physicians, outpatient centers and hospitals.
  • VentureOhio works to increase access to capital, foster collaboration and tell Ohio’s story. Its efforts support innovation, job creation and wealth generation. It supports and enhances the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center represents more than 1,000 physicians. Its medical school consistently ranks among the top 40 in the U.S. and among the top 15 public universities. The college’s innovative curriculum places students in clinical settings from the start of their first year.
  • Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center is a nonprofit, academic medical center that ranks among the top pediatric hospitals in the nation. It offers comprehensive clinical services from treatments for rare and complex conditions to well-child care.
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the country’s largest not-for-profit, freestanding pediatric healthcare networks. Its Research Institute is ranked in the top 10 for National Institutes of Health funding among freestanding children's hospitals.
  • Ohio Third Frontier is committed to transforming the state’s economy through the accelerated growth of diverse startup and early-stage technology companies. Businesses and entrepreneurs have access to a statewide network of resources through this nationally recognized initiative. The network provides access to business expertise, mentorship, capital and talent to help turn great ideas into thriving companies and well-paying jobs.
Venture Capital Firms Invested in Ohio at Record Levels in 2018

Venture Capital Firms Invested in Ohio at Record Levels in 2018

Ohio leads the Midwest in attracting growth capital
Matt Waldo, senior manager of research and analysis
March 11, 2019

Since the early 2000s, a significant shift has occurred in pulling VC funding away from the West Coast. Where is the funding going? It’s heading to the Midwest, and Ohio is leading the way. Ohio is earning national attention for its thriving and continuously growing startup environment.

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