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University Board of Trustees to consider investment in research and innovation

Trustees will consider Framework 2.0, a long-term vision for the campus of the future. 

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees will consider several projects and partnerships to keep the university on the cutting edge of research and innovation this week.

The January session includes plans for major projects, continuing partnerships and a guiding, long-term planning vision for the campus of the future.

Trustees are expected to consider the recently announced Framework 2.0. President Michael V. Drake announced Framework 2.0 in his State of the University Address last week. The plan outlines a vision for how campus might grow to more fully capture the university’s potential in the coming years.

“Under Dr. Drake’s leadership, we have pursued the campus of the future and how it might evolve in 10, 20 or even 30 years. We recognize this plan is dynamic, but it provides the framework for ensuring good decision making in an integrated and strategic way in this ever-changing world,” said Trustee and head of the Master Planning and Facilities Committee Alex Fischer.

In addition to the campus plan, trustees are expected to consider expanding two partnerships with organizations working to boost manufacturing in Ohio.

A proposed joint-use agreement with Lima, Ohio-based Ohio Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Center, calls for Ohio State to invest $400,000 in equipment that both entities will share. The Ohio Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Center is a manufacturing innovation center that helps commercial manufacturing businesses stay ahead of the curve. The center has previously worked with Ohio State’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence.

The agreement is part of a $400,000 investment in equipment that Ohio State will also use.

A partnership with Lane Avenue-base EWI is under consideration

Trustees are also expected to consider a joint-use agreement with Edison Welding Institute. The company, based on Lane Avenue, offers research, manufacturing support, and strategic services to businesses in aerospace, automotive and electronic manufacturing. Ohio State and EWI are already partners in the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

The new deal includes $1.5 million from the state for new machinery and equipment for the EWI Forming Center in Columbus. The university will have access to that equipment.

Trustees will also view plans to construct a new flight center at the Ohio State University Airport. The $13 million project is part of a previously approved plan to upgrade the airport. The next phase of the project includes design and construction of Flight Education-Center for Aviation Studies space for research and study of aviation.

Rendering of new airport terminal

And a $3.5 million design plan for a new lab building at the university campus at Wooster is up for review. The project will eventually provide a new home for entomology research as well as teaching labs and classroom spaces.

Trustees will consider innovative transportation options for the area around the new Cannon Drive. The road cuts across the edges of the Olentangy River and needs to be relocated and raised six to eight feet to protect the medical campus from flooding.

“The elevation of Cannon Drive will provide protection for the university from flooding that could devastate large parts of campus,” said Senior Vice President for Administration and Planning Jay Kasey.

The $16.5 million transportation project will expand parking, add bus shelters and a bus access road and build a high-tech transit hub on Herrick Drive.