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Innovation Center created jobs and economic growth in 2004

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 6, 2005) -- Businesses in Ohio University's Innovation Center created 211 jobs and generated $7.6 million in labor income in Athens County during 2004, according to a recent study.

The study explored the economic impact of the university's small business incubator during its first full year of operation in its new building on West State Street in Athens. The Innovation Center, which has served the region since 1983, moved into a 36,000-squre-foot facility in Ohio University's Research and Enterprise Park during summer 2003.

The vast majority of the jobs -- 73 percent -- created in 2004 came directly from employment within the eight businesses in the Innovation Center. The remaining 27 percent resulted from outsourcing to professional service and manufacturing firms within Athens County.

The eight businesses created $5.4 million in labor income from direct employment and $524,000 in labor income from outsourcing. An estimated $189,000 in labor income was created for Athens County firms that supplied goods and services to the Innovation Center members.

When employees of Innovation Center businesses spent their wages, they contributed another $1.5 million to the local economy, with the greatest increases seen in the government, retail trade, education and health services sectors.

"This independent study confirmed what we already believed about the Innovation Center companies," said Linda Clark, director of the Innovation Center. "Each of these companies has an amazing impact on the economic growth in our community. Every day, each of these local companies contributes positively to the personal income, job creation and tax base -- right here in our own backyard."

Innovation Center businesses also generated an estimated $183,000 in state and local sales taxes and an estimated $290,000 in state and local income taxes, she added.

The eight businesses tracked during the study were Diagnostic Hybrids Inc., Bob Garrison, Made in the Shade Communications, F.O.M.B. Solutions LLC, Interthyr Inc., Media Brite, Council of Development Finance Agencies and Third Sun Solar and Wind Power.

"These study results only serve to reaffirm the university's commitment to local business growth and prosperity. The Innovation Center makes a difference -- a dramatic difference -- in our community, and we'll continue to be an active partner in growing our local economy with innovation and enthusiasm," Clark said.

The study was conducted by the Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development at Ohio University's Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs. Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) economic modeling software created by MIG Inc. of Stillwater, Minn., was used to record and track study results.

For more information about the study and the Innovation Center, visit the Web at www.innovationcenter.ohiou.edu.  

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Media Contact: Linda Clark, (740) 593-1803 or clark@ohio.edu

Attention Reporters, Editors: A photo of Linda Clark may be downloaded at: www.ohiou.edu/news/pix/CLARK_LINDA.JPG. For images of the facility, please contact Andrea Gibson at gibsona@ohio.edu.

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