Wednesday July 30, 2014

New Chapter in Innovation

Campus and regional leaders marked another chapter in Dayton innovation with the announcement of the Emerson Innovation Center.

Dayton has always been a city of innovation.

Today, regional leaders gathered to celebrate Emerson Climate Technologies' announcement of a global innovation center on five acres of University of Dayton land at the corner of Main and Stewart streets.

"Dayton entrepreneurs and companies have a long history of innovation," said Ed Purvis, executive vice president of Emerson Climate Technologies. "The city is home to a number of firsts, including the first cash register, the country’s first home air conditioning system, and of course, the birthplace of aviation. We mark this as another chapter of Dayton innovation."

The 40,000-square-foot innovation center is expected to open in late 2015 and employ between 30 and 50 people. Its classrooms and laboratories will be where Emerson experts, industry leaders, and University faculty and students come together to drive the future of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry.

Company officials estimate the project cost at between $35 million and $40 million, of which approximately $20 million will be used to build the facility.

"I believe universities that will thrive in the future are the ones that forge strategic partnerships to advance innovation — and to create jobs," said Daniel J. Curran, University of Dayton president. "Our partnership with Emerson is not a new one. It spans 30 years and stretches from Sidney, Ohio, to Suzhou, China."

When the innovation center is fully operational, "students from various disciplines — engineering, marketing, even dietetics — can walk over to this world-class facility and be part of the future," Curran said. "Some will take classes. Others will work as interns or co-ops. Our researchers and faculty, who are experts in advanced materials and energy efficiency, will help Emerson's engineers drive innovation."

The University's master plan devotes space on this part of campus for attracting high-tech companies that can spur research, serve as real-world classrooms for students and spark economic development for the Dayton region. In 2013, GE Aviation opened a $53 million research center nearby. It was named the state's best economic development project last year.

"This land that we're standing on will continue to be a cornerstone for Dayton. It will continue to be a catalyst," said Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition and a 1991 University of Dayton graduate.

Contact Tim Flinn, vice president for marketing and eBusiness for Emerson Climate Technologies, at 937-498-3325, or Teri Rizvi, executive director of strategic communications for the University of Dayton, at 937-229-3255.

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