Friday July 30, 2010

Job-Ready Transformation

Dayton received a $3.5 million grant to help transform former corporate NCR Corp. offices into modern research space and speed the commercialization of technology developed in collaboration with the University of Dayton Research Institute.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has awarded a $3.5 million Ohio Job Ready Site Program grant to help convert office space in NCR Corp.'s former corporate headquarters into a collaborative innovation center that will create jobs and speed the commercialization of technology.

Strickland announced the grant, a partnership with the City of Dayton, Friday, July 30, at the University's 1700 S. Patterson Building, formerly the NCR Corp. World Headquarters. The grant will help renovate a portion of the building into an advanced research facility focused on innovation and commercialization of new technology particularly in the area of high-performance materials.?

"The Job Ready Site program is about taking locations that have been left behind and transforming them into work sites that are ready for business, new jobs and new opportunities for Ohioans," Strickland said. "These investments reinforce our message to companies across the nation considering expansion or relocation projects that there is no better place to build your business than Ohio and no better workforce to make your product than Ohioans."

University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran said the innovation center will take advantage of the University's prowess in materials research and engineering and will foster company start-ups and job creation.

"We are pleased to work in partnership with the city of Dayton on creating this space for innovation space that will develop new technologies, promote economic development and create jobs for the region and the state," Curran said. "Our researchers will work hand in hand with entrepreneurs to create and market tomorrow's technologies."

Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell said, "On behalf of the city of Dayton, we thank Gov. Strickland for announcing yet another investment that will bolster Dayton's position as Ohio's Aerospace Hub. Today's investment not only benefits our partners at the University of Dayton, it also supports the overall strategic growth of technology-based industries driving the transition of our local economy."

The grant will fund the renovation of 60,000 square feet of former office space for the development and commercialization of materials technology. About 16,000 square feet will be designated as innovation space that will attract entrepreneurs interested in developing and commercializing technology in collaboration with University of Dayton Research Institute researchers. The remaining 44,000 square feet will be undesignated research and development space with the flexibility to adapt to future needs. The project will take 18 months to two years to complete.

This job-ready site will be modeled after the successful collaborative research center at the Institute for the Development & Commercialization of Advanced Sensors Technology (IDCAST), an Ohio Department of Development Wright Center of Innovation. In the last two years, the University of Dayton-led IDCAST has created more than 220 jobs.

In December 2009, the University purchased 115 acres of land, including the former NCR Corp. World Headquarters, and announced plans to house the University of Dayton Research Institute in a substantial portion of the building. The University, which committed $18 million of private money to purchase the former NCR property, expects to invest between $20 million and $30 million for renovations.

The transformed Research Institute will serve as the southern anchor of the recently designated Ohio Aerospace Hub of Innovation and Opportunity, led by the University of Dayton.

The Research Institute conducts nearly $100 million in sponsored research annually from a variety of sources. According to the National Science Foundation, the University ranks second among all U.S. universities and colleges for sponsored materials research, and ranks 11th nationally and first in Ohio among universities for federally funded engineering research.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.