‘Next big thing for Cincinnati’s growth’: New partnership aims to bring 20K jobs, $3B annual economic impact

UC innovation district announcement

AVONDALE, Ohio (FOX19) - A new public-private partnership was announced Friday between the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and JobsOhio.

It aims to accelerate more than 15,000 STEM graduates and $2 billion in research to bring in more than 20,000 new jobs and $3 billion in annual economic impact over the next decade.

“The Cincinnati Innovation District is the next big thing for Cincinnati’s growth," Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said at a news conference with state and local leaders. "This partnership among the state, JobsOhio, the city, the University of Cincinnati, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital will pay dividends for decades to come.”

JobsOhio will invest up to $100 million. UC and Cincinnati Children’s will contribute more than $450 million annually in research, state and local officials said.

The research is expected to lead to discoveries that will become the basis for innovative startups in the tech and healthcare sectors.

Anchored by UC and Cincinnati Children’s, Cincinnati Innovation District will serve as a “blueprint” for the state and ensure the city becomes a magnet for talent that attracts Fortune 500, mid-size and developing start-up companies, they said.

“In partnering with the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s to create this Innovation District, we are investing in opportunities for students and incumbent workers to build a successful career in Ohio, while unleashing the research and innovation happening on our university campuses and hospitals to help drive job creation,” Gov. Mike DeWine said.

The venture will position the region to compete at a national and international level for talent and the companies that seek that talent, officials said.

“To compete and win, we must invest in research and talent while establishing vibrant, amenity-rich communities to realize our long-term vision of making Ohio the best place in the country for tech and life science jobs,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and chief investment officer.

"We are energized by JobsOhio’s commitment to research and innovation,” said Michael Fisher, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children’s. “This unprecedented investment will help us continue to attract, retain and inspire exceptional talent from around the world; accelerate new discoveries, treatments, and cures; and, most importantly, make a difference in the health and lives of children in Ohio, and well beyond. We are very grateful for this exciting new partnership.”

UC already has developed an innovation district blueprint through the creation of the 1819 Innovation Hub in Avondale, where Friday’s news conference took place, and the developing the Digital Futures complex.

The sites have attracted Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-sized companies and generated significant start-ups, city leaders said.

“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.

"The nimble, forward-thinking, results-driven work of JobsOhio has never been more important or appreciated. Our highly innovative partnership with them, fully supported by the governor and lieutenant governor, will transform the University of Cincinnati’s impact for generations to come.”

Cincinnati Innovation District is expected to attract significant investment in mixed-use buildings that will provide office/lab, retail, housing and nightlife that will make the area attractive to job creation, private investment, and talent seeking an urban experience, city officials said.

This is the latest project announced to catalyze reinvestment in Avondale and surrounding areas, drawing technology, biotechnology, and other high-growth industries and talent.

Ground broke last year on a $250 million mixed-use development, Uptown Gateway, by the new Interstate 71 interchange in the Uptown Innovation Corridor.

UC has signed a long-term lease for a 180,000-square-foot office building to house its digital futures building there.

This new corridor is considered Cincinnati’s center of innovation and entrepreneurship that will help institutions and companies connect with start-ups.

The main focus is on medicine, research, and innovation.

Cincinnati’s Uptown Innovation Corridor is seen as a national model for specialized urban districts.

Late last year, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that 30 leaders in the health care, academic and business communities traveled to Cincinnati “to see in practice what for years has only been a vision for many Chattanoogans: a unified district dedicated to medicine, education, and research.”

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