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Innovation District to spearhead economic growth, research and expanded talent

Strategic partnership with JobsOhio to jumpstart private and public partnerships and increase STEM talent pipeline

The Ohio State University’s research and innovation enterprise is getting a major financial boost from Governor Mike DeWine and JobsOhio.

The Innovation District will receive a major share of a $100 million investment from JobsOhio, the state’s economic development group, into the central Ohio region, advancing the area’s health sciences and research space. Nationwide Children’s Hospital will also receive funding. The hospital is already a partner in the university’s Innovation District, currently under development on West Campus.

The university recently pledged to build on its own dedicated facilities for faculty, staff, students, startups, Fortune 500 companies and city leaders to work together, creating research and development and accompanying jobs. Ohio State is investing $647 million on 270 acres of university-owned land.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 17, state and university leaders said the funding will strengthen initiatives that are already underway and allow the university to forge new paths.

“This strategic partnership with JobsOhio will create new opportunities for our faculty, staff and student researchers and entrepreneurs, further positioning central Ohio as a leader to develop the exciting potential at the interfaces of biomedical and computer science and engineering research,” said President Kristina M. Johnson. “In addition, we will work with JobsOhio to grow the STEM talent pool, and educate a new generation of students who will continue to thrive in our growing economy.”

As part of the JobsOhio partnership, Ohio State has committed to:

  • Achieving a 50% increase in research awards from the National Institutes of Health. This extra $125.5 million would increase the potential for research advances and technology translation that lead to commercialization opportunities and job growth.
  • Producing more graduates who are prepared for 21st-century jobs by growing STEM programs, particularly health sciences, engineering and computer sciences graduates to 22,500 over the next 15 years.
  • Providing students the chance to engage in hands-on learning directly with industry on their own campus, creating new pathways to new opportunities.

Buildings totaling nearly 750,000 gross square feet, including the Interdisciplinary Research Facility, a five-story, 305,000-square-foot laboratory building, are already under construction in the space west of Kenny Road and south of Lane Avenue, part of 270 acres of land for the Innovation District. Later this year, the university will break ground on the co-located Energy Advancement and Innovation Center, which will house faculty researchers and students as well as public and private partners.

The university and Nationwide Children’s are also partnering on an outpatient care facility that includes central Ohio’s first proton therapy treatment space.

By widening the talent base of students and collaborators in fields like health and life sciences and computer science engineering, President Johnson believes Ohio State can build on its status as Ohio’s flagship research university and continue to lead in the modern economy.

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