Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Receives Third Frontier Grant – Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems, located in North Canton, Ohio (Stark County), was awarded a $600,000 Third Frontier Grant from the State of Ohio. The award was granted for further development of its Internal Steam Reformer which is a critical component of its 1MW Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Electric Power System project. The current steam reformer was developed by Rolls-Royce in the United Kingdom and has demonstrated baseline performance requirements. Rolls-Royce will transfer the current internal steam reformer technology to Ohio to improve performance and reduce cost of this critical component. The project will establish a new performance baseline using a catalyst manufactured by BASF that offers a 50% cost reduction. The Ohio State University will be collaborating with Rolls-Royce on catalyst performance analysis. Rolls-Royce, a world leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea, and in the air, established the North American headquarters for its fuel cell subsidiary in North Canton in 2006. They are housed in the Fuel Cell Prototyping Center located on the campus of Stark State College of Technology. To read about the awarding of this grant and other fuel cell grants, click here.

Groundbreaking Takes Place for New Federal Building in Canton – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) held a groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the new Federal office building complex to be built in downtown Canton, Ohio. The complex will have two buildings totaling 45,000 square feet with construction to start in February. The new facility complex will cost about $14 million and will replace the 76 year old Frank T. Bow Federal building, a block east of the new site. Fedcar Co., a subsidiary of Carnegie Development and Management Corp in Westlake, Ohio is the developer for the project. The developer will be leasing the land from the city and the GSA will be leasing the buildings from the developer. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Trustee Program, U.S. Marshall Service, Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service will occupy the complex. Retiring Congressman Ralph Regula was credited with conceiving the idea of a new Federal building and efforts to name the complex after Congressman Regula have begun. To read more about the project, click here.

Stark Development Board Releases Services Marketing Plan – The Stark Development Board (SDB), a private, non-profit corporation engaged in economic development activities in Stark County, recently released its Services Marketing Plan. The Services Marketing Plan is a result of the service sector study conducted by SDB this past year. The study was initiated due to the growth of service sector employment over the last decade. A logic model that SDB followed established guideline for evaluating which service sectors should be pursued in the marketing plan. SDB staff also conducted a competitive analysis of 25 metropolitan areas that Stark County typically competes against on leads from companies looking for new business locations. As part of the study, SDB gathered information on predicted occupation growth by state and analyzed location quotients for counties in the region. SDB determined that the healthcare and finance and insurance sectors should be targeted in the marketing plan. Services are closely aligned with manufacturing in Stark County, and clusters such as fuel cells and metal fabrication will continue to be important to our community. SDB presented the Services Marketing Plan at the quarterly SDB Trustees’ Meeting in December.

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