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COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted were joined by JobsOhio, The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Franklin County, the City of Columbus, and state legislators to unveil the Columbus Innovation District.

The Columbus Innovation District will bring together globally recognized education and healthcare research institutions to bolster the creation of in-demand jobs and fuel $3 billion in economic impact for Columbus and Ohio over the next 10 years.

The Columbus Innovation 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 Columbus Innovation District will be the third anchor in our strategy to build on Ohio’s growing dominance as a world leader in medical research and healthcare talent,” DeWine said. “These districts will attract researchers, who can create, develop, and share their ideas with the world from Ohio.”

The Columbus Innovation District aims to generate 20,000 new jobs in central Ohio over the next 10 years, involving an estimated 10,000 direct STEM jobs in the technology and healthcare industries, as well as 10,000 indirect jobs in the community at large.

“With this announcement, Columbus becomes the third regional innovation district we’ve launched in Ohio in the last year, advancing world-class research, supporting intellectual property commercialization and new business startups while developing the STEM and computer science talent needed for healthcare and businesses to thrive,” Husted said. “The people of Ohio will ultimately benefit from the fact that OSU and Nationwide Children’s, in collaboration with JobsOhio, share the common mission of advancing innovation, investment and economic prosperity in Ohio – now and for the future.”

JobsOhio, Ohio State and Nationwide Children's will invest $1.1 billion in the Columbus Innovation District, including 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 Columbus Innovation District brings together leading area institutions that will have worldwide impact on the future growth and advancements in healthcare and education,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “JobsOhio and our partners see incredible opportunity for the Columbus district, together with the others across Ohio, to advance innovation, ultimately creating a global hub for fresh, creative and transformative ideas.”

JobsOhio, the state’s private nonprofit economic development corporation, is committing up to $100 million for the Columbus Innovation District, with Ohio State and Nationwide Children's Hospital serving as the anchors to drive STEM talent production, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and life science research, as well as business development in job creation largely focused on technology and life sciences in the healthcare industry.

“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 The Ohio State University 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.”

This commitment is expected to generate another $2 billion in private development necessary to build real estate and create a vibrant, amenity-rich community to house the expected 10,000 direct jobs spurred by the initiative.

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been proud to count The Ohio State University, Gov. DeWine, and Lt. Governor Husted among our strongest partners as we have increasingly become a center of discovery and translation of new therapies for children around the world,” said Tim Robinson, CEO of Nationwide Children’s. “The Columbus Innovation District, made possible by JobsOhio, allows us all to deepen our partnership, create more opportunities for the people of central Ohio, and have an even greater impact on children’s health.”

Wednesday's announcement included local support, as well as from city and county officials.

“This Columbus Innovation District represents an investment in our region, our residents, and their future,” said Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce. “The impact locally in the form of jobs and investment will be great, but this is also a partnership that has the potential to make a difference around the globe. The impact from a project like this will be greater than the sum of its parts, and I’m really excited to see it going forward here in Franklin County.”

“The Columbus Innovation District will help attract the best and brightest minds to central Ohio, and allow Columbus to retain the talent that will follow this historic public-private investment in STEM,” said City of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “The District will create the environment for collaboration and the discovery and application of new technologies to solve some of our greatest challenges. This is a once in a generation opportunity that will produce thousands of new graduates, thousands more jobs and spur billions in private investment. It is an integral part of the Columbus growth strategy, and will help the city to align jobs, housing and infrastructure along the northwest corridor, propelling our city into the future.”

This announcement follows the kickoff of both the Cleveland Innovation District, which launched in January with the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, MetroHealth Medical Center, and University Hospital as partners, and the Cincinnati Innovation District™ unveiled in March 2020, with the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as anchors.

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