CINCINNATI — Nonprofit economic development corporation JobsOhio plans to invest up to $100 million in research and STEM programs at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital, state and local leaders announced Friday.
The cash infusion will transform the space between Interstate 71 and I-75 into the newly christened "Cincinnati Innovation Hub" — a group of cooperating institutions they hope will produce new ideas, new technologies and new reasons for companies to consider Cincinnati as a potential home.
“This is going to make that kind of vibrant district that really will be the envy of the country, if not the world," Children's CEO Michael Fisher said.
The forecasted results of the investment are ambitious: 15,000 new STEM graduates, research and real estate development worth $2 billion and 20,000 new jobs in the Cincinnati area over the next 10 years.
But UC innovation officer David Adams said it's a sensible plan, one that helps Ohio move with the curve of changing historical and economic trends.
“For the first time in our history, the resource that is most scarce is no longer physical capital," he said. "It’s intellectual capital.”
From that perspective, investing heavily in science, technology, engineering and math is a down payment on the future.
“We are humbled and inspired by this historic investment in our Next Lives Here vision for talent, research and innovation," said UC President Neville Pinto, referencing the university’s ongoing program to increase its national profile. "The nimble, forward-thinking, results-driven work of JobsOhio has never been more important or appreciated.”
JobsOhio is a nonprofit focused on building the state’s economy and attracting new businesses. According to its website, the organization created 22,770 new jobs in 2019.