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Ohio rolls out third innovation district in less than a year with $100 million in state commitment

February 18, 2021
By: Ellen Marrison

Ohio unveiled the Columbus Innovation District this week, marking the third such announcement in less than a year, with a $100 million commitment from JobsOhio, the state’s nonprofit economic development corporation. Other partners in the Columbus initiative include Ohio State University, which will contribute $650 million, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, with a $350 million commitment. The district is intended to bring together globally recognized education and healthcare research institutions to help create in-demand jobs and fuel $3 billion in economic impact for Columbus and Ohio over the next 10 years.

The announcement follows closely on the heels of a similar district in Cleveland that saw a combined commitment of $565 million between the state, JobsOhio, the Cleveland Clinic and other partners, and a Cincinnati Innovation District announced last March. Gov. Mike DeWine said the Columbus district “will be a hub for innovation and growth in Ohio, expanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational opportunities, positioning Ohio to compete nationally for growing tech and healthcare employers.”

The new Columbus initiative will include the development of an Interdisciplinary Research Facility, an Energy Advancement and Innovative Center, an Outpatient Cancer Facility, and the region’s first proton therapy facility to treat cancer patients already underway at Ohio State’s West Campus. The combined $1.1 billion investment is expected to generate another $2 billion in private development and 10,000 direct jobs.