Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation
Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation.
For Ohio to compete for businesses, employment opportunities and residents in the years to come, innovation must be more than an ingredient of the state’s economic development efforts; it must be the driver.
This is the guiding principle of Ohio Bold: A Blueprint for Accelerating the Innovation Economy, released July 18 by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation. The Research Foundation, which serves to provide nonpartisan research to public policymakers, partnered with TEConomy Partners LLC, a global leader in research, analysis, and strategy for innovation-based economic development, to produce a report that assesses Ohio’s current economic conditions and lays out a roadmap for future prosperity.
The report found that Ohio has advanced its innovation economy through a series of initiatives since the 1980s, including JobsOhio, the Ohio Third Frontier and Edison Technology Centers. However, despite this progress, Ohio’s private sector average annual GDP growth rate has remained below the national average since 1991. As a result, Ohio has suffered slower growth in population, wages and income than the nation as a whole.
Ohio Bold offers a proposal to accelerate that growth. While Ohio economic development policy has traditionally focused on specific sectors of the economy, Ohio Bold recommends a realignment of Ohio’s innovation investments on areas of convergence, where innovation and disruptive technologies can cross over to impact many of those traditional industry clusters.
At the core of Ohio Bold is a recommendation for a statewide organizational approach to accelerate the innovation economy in Ohio. This approach would be built around four innovation opportunity platforms – Next Gen Manufacturing, Future Health, Smart Infrastructure and Data Analytics – each of which would be represented by a statewide Innovation Hub to advance product development, process improvements and the commercialization of new technologies.
In addition to the Innovation Hubs, the report recommends new incentive programs, an entrepreneur attraction program, venture capital investments funds, and programs to retain – and to retrieve – skilled graduates of Ohio colleges and universities.
The timing of Ohio Bold’s release was intentional. With the completion of Gov. John Kasich’s second term, a new Ohio governor will take office in January.
The Research Foundation determined it is crucial to frame the state’s economic landscape and offer a path forward while candidates are still in the process of putting together their economic development platforms. The Research Foundation shared the report with the campaigns of Democratic nominee Rich Cordray and Republican nominee Mike DeWine prior to the public announcement.
To learn more about Ohio Bold, visit http://ohiochamberfoundation.com/about/ohio-bold/
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