Wednesday April 21, 2010

Supporting Ohio Third Frontier Means Jobs

Ohio Third Frontier has helped the University leverage more than $70 million in grants to create 330 jobs. Renewing the program will not raise taxes.

Challenged to build a taller, lighter wind turbine tower, University of Dayton researchers are working on a project — funded by the Ohio Third Frontier program and in collaboration with Ohio manufacturing companies — that will result in some of the largest composite structures ever built.

It's all to move Ohio's economy into areas of future growth — and it's just one reason why the University of Dayton is supporting the passage of State Issue 1, which renews the Ohio Third Frontier Program.

Issue 1, on the ballot May 4, authorizes $700 million in bonds to extend existing program funding through 2016. It will not raise taxes.

In all, the University of Dayton has leveraged more than $70 million in Third Frontier grants over the past eight years to attract five companies and create 330 jobs in the Dayton region.

NanoSperse, a start-up company that incorporates UDRI-developed nanomaterials in aerospace and industrial composites, opened last year in the National Composites Center in Kettering. Thanks partially to Third Frontier funding, the University of Dayton Research Institute helped the California-based UltraCell Corp. open a fuel cell manufacturing facility in Vandalia. In 2006, the University helped launch IDCAST (Institute for Development and Commercialization of Advanced Sensors Technology) with a $28 million Third Frontier grant. In the last two years, the University-led IDCAST has created more than 220 jobs.

"The Third Frontier Program funds job creation in areas where our state can be competitive long term. Leveraging cutting-edge university research is an essential element of providing our companies the competitive advantages that promote economic development. The program's results are both measurable and impressive," said Daniel J. Curran, president of the University of Dayton. "The Third Frontier has allowed the University of Dayton, a premier research university, to conduct research, commercialize technology and boost our region's economy. We support this program because it works."

Created in 2002 with bipartisan leadership and support, the Ohio Third Frontier Program makes targeted state investments in promising technologies, research and entrepreneurs that have a strong potential for creating jobs. Since its inception, the Ohio Third Frontier has helped launch 571 new companies, supported expansions of many existing businesses and created more than 48,000 new jobs while generating $6.6 billion in economic activity, according to the United for Jobs and Ohio's Future coalition. It is expected that a large number of these companies will continue growing and creating jobs long into the future.

The program has received broad bipartisan statewide support, including more than 150 endorsements from diverse organizations. Both political parties back its renewal. Support in the Dayton region includes the Dayton Development Coalition, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Dayton City Commission, the University of Dayton, Wright State University, Central State University and Sinclair Community College.

The University of Dayton Research Institute conducts nearly $100 million in sponsored research annually from a variety of sources, including the Third Frontier.

For interviews, contact Mickey McCabe, vice president for research at the University of Dayton, at 937-229-3515.

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