Ohio Voters Overwhelmingly Support Third Frontier Program – On Tuesday, 62% of Ohio voters (over a million) voted to extend the Third Frontier program to 2016 by authorizing the issue of $700 million in additional bonds over four years. The program, which has bipartisan support at a time when the economy is struggling, provides targeted investment in new technologies and new product development in industries such as alternative energy and biomedical research. Ohio’s Third Frontier program has funneled some $1 billion into high tech innovation across the state, creating 41,300 jobs, according to an independent study conducted by SRI International, a nonprofit research institute based in Menlo Park, California. Third Frontier uses merit-based reviews to funnel hundreds of grants to universities, companies, development groups, and venture funds aimed at bringing technological innovations to market. In Stark County, Stark State College, along with Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems, Contained Energy and Lockheed Martin have been supported by the Third Frontier in the creation of a fuel cell industry. To read more about the extension of the program, click on this Canton Repository article.
Ohio Named Among Top Five Fuel Cell States in the Country – Ohio is one of the top five fuel cell states in 2009, according to a new report published by Fuel Cells 2000, a nonprofit outreach organization. The report, titled “State of the States: Fuel Cells in America,” outlines Ohio’s aggressive and innovative focus on business attraction and business development as well as the state’s strategies for building its fuel cell supply chain and world class manufacturing base as reasons for the top ranking. The report attributes much of Ohio’s success in the fuel cell industry to the Ohio Fuel Cell Initiative, developed under the Ohio Third Frontier program, an unprecedented and bipartisan commitment to create new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs. The Ohio Third Frontier has invested over $80 million in fuel cells through a variety of different programs, which has resulted in the creation or retention of 430 jobs with an average salary of $68,431. Stark County has been a beneficiary of Third Frontier grants with the growth of Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems at the Fuel Cell Prototyping Center located on Stark State College’s campus. Additionally, Ohio has formed the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, the largest state fuel cell association in the nation with more than 80 members. The members include industry, academic and nonprofit organizations who are working to strengthen Ohio’s fuel cell industry and to accelerate the transformation of the state to global leadership in fuel cell technology. Click here to read the Ohio Business Development Coalition’s article which recognizes Ohio’s leadership in fuel cells.
College Degrees Awarded by Stark County Institutions Show Major 10-Year Increase – Stark County’s six institutions of higher education, combined, awarded over 2,600 degrees during fiscal year 2009, according to figures released last month by the Ohio Board of Regents. That total represents an increase of 37% over the 1,916 degrees awarded in 2000. To learn the number of degrees awarded by institution, click on this Stark Education Partnership article.