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Ohio University's new Innovation Center offers increased opportunities for regional entrepreneurs

ATHENS, Ohio -- Speakers touted the role of Ohio University's new Innovation Center facility as a driving force for the southeastern Ohio economy during a grand opening today (Sept. 16).

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft presents a flag in honor of the Innovation Center dedication. Photos by Rick Fatica"The advances that will take place in this facility will help to drive economic development and provide good jobs in Southeast Ohio for years to come. Ohio must be the place where new knowledge creates new, high-paying jobs, and that's what this center is all about," Ohio Gov. Bob Taft said.

The Innovation Center, which first opened in 1983, moved into its new 36,000-square-foot home in Ohio University's Research and Enterprise Park this summer. The center, which had been based on The Ridges in Athens since 1994, is Ohio's oldest university-based business incubator. Since its inception, the incubator program has helped launch more than 50 companies and created more than 675 jobs.

The new Innovation Center offers more facilities and professional services to area entrepreneurs and inventors in the information technology and biotechnology industries who are looking to bring their ideas to the marketplace.

"We believe, unabashedly and proudly, that this is one of the most outstanding business incubator facilities in the nation," Ohio University President Robert Glidden said.

Ten start-up firms and one anchor tenant, Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc., moved into the incubator this summer, and a new company will move in this month. Diagnostic Hybrids, a biotechnology firm that develops and manufactures cell cultures for the medical industry, received its start in the incubator program.

Current incubator clients range from Third Sun Solar and Wind Power, a renewable energy system dealer, installer and service provider, to Beutner Multimedia Software Services, which develops CD-ROMs for educational initiatives.

Innovation Center Director Linda Clark and Gary Meyer"The center provides enviable space that, given its attractiveness and functional nature, will attract many businesses," National Business Incubation Association President and CEO Dinah Adkins said.

Several federal agencies funded the new facility: The Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce committed more than $1.4 million; the Appalachian Regional Commission gave $1 million; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development contributed $400,000. The university funded part of the remaining costs through construction bonds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided $200,000 of scientific equipment.

More information about the Innovation Center is available online at www.innovationcenter.ohiou.edu.

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Contact: Linda Clark, (740) 593-1818 or clark@ohio.edu.  

Note to media: Photos from today's event are available on the Web at

  • www.ohiou.edu/news/pix/Innovation1.JPG
    Cutline: Ohio University Innovation Center Director Linda Clark and Assistant Vice President for Economic and Technical Development Gary Meyer spoke at Tuesday's grand opening.

  • www.ohiou.edu/news/pix/Innovation2.JPG
    Cutline: Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (center) presents an Ohio state flag to Ohio University President Robert Glidden (left) to fly at the Innovation Center as center Director Linda Clark watches.
 
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