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Cleveland Innovation District Partners Exceeding Many Targets Set by State and JobsOhio


CID group logos with initial goals

CLEVELAND – Since the Cleveland Innovation District launched in 2021, the founding institutions have made significant progress, including exceeding many of the targets set by the Ohio Department of Development and JobsOhio. Collectively, the institutions participating in this $500 million public-private initiative have created more than 2,600 jobs, spent nearly $1.2 billion on research and innovation, commenced construction of two new research facilities, created dedicated research space comprising more than 550,000 square feet, and awarded more than 7,300 degrees and certificates to support workforce development.

“The Cleveland Innovation District’s progress over the last three years has been remarkable," said Governor Mike DeWine. "Ohio is a world leader in innovative healthcare and research, and I’m confident we’ll continue to see life-changing medical advancements from the talented teams that are part of the Cleveland Innovation District.”

Through the Cleveland Innovation District (CID), the partners – Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University, The MetroHealth System and University Hospitals – in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Development and JobsOhio aim to contribute $3 billion to the regional economy by 2030. They plan to achieve this by generating 20,000 direct and indirect jobs that will result from increased investment in research and product innovation, construction spending and furthering the educational profile of our Northeast Ohio community.

“When we launched the Innovation District, it was our aspiration that it would generate more jobs, more STEM talent and more research and investment funding to solidify Cleveland as an international health research center of excellence, and it is encouraging to see that we are making progress toward those goals,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted, director of InnovateOhio. “These interim reports provide an opportunity to celebrate milestones, while holding all of the partners accountable for delivering on what was promised.”

“The Cleveland Innovation District is poised to be a center of excellence that acts as a catalyst for ongoing investment in Northeast Ohio,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “This extraordinary collaboration showcases the region’s world-class research and learning institutions as the Cleveland Innovation District attracts and creates new businesses and talent needed to ensure the state is a global leader in the healthcare and IT sectors.”

“The Cleveland Innovation District is a great example of how a community can come together to advance technology and innovation and drive economic growth and transformation throughout Ohio,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development. “The progress they’ve made so far is a testament to what’s possible when great minds converge with a shared vision for progress. Their accomplishments are actively shaping the future workforce and empowering individuals with the skills needs to thrive in the heart of innovation.”

"It has been an immense privilege to witness the remarkable synergy among our anchor partners,” said Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS, Current Chair of the Cleveland Innovation District and CEO of University Hospitals. “Together, we have coalesced into a dynamic force, achieving significant milestones since the launch in 2021. The progress we've made underscores our collective commitment to elevating the region. I look forward to continuing this extraordinary journey, working hand-in-hand with our partners and the entire community, as we propel the Cleveland Innovation District to even greater heights.”

Milestones achieved by the five institutions since their last update in 2021 include:

Case Western Reserve University:

  • With a priority to grow its research portfolio to $600 million as soon as possible, Case Western Reserve University is moving quickly toward that goal, reporting to the federal government FY23 research expenditures of $554 million. 
  • To support researchers and their expanded research portfolios, Case Western Reserve is also investing in infrastructure. The university is about to break ground on its state-of-the-art $300 million, 200,000-square-foot Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building (ISEB), scheduled to open in fall 2026.
  • CWRU is elevating technology translation and catalyzing the innovation ecosystem with the development of a new start-up incubator designed for 40 early-stage businesses in the biotech, health tech, and engineering fields.
  • CWRU has embarked on a major strategic initiative to add 100 net new tenured and tenure-track faculty positions — an integrated effort across the university and across a variety of resource pools to enhance the impact of university activity.

Cleveland Clinic:

  • Began construction of two new research buildings, totaling approximately 300,000 square feet, on Cedar Avenue in CID. The state-of-the-art facilities, which will be home to the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research, will significantly increase laboratory research space on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus.
  • Opened the first research facilities on main campus dedicated to the Cleveland Innovation District. Several of Cleveland Clinic’s fastest-growing research programs moved into the 45,000 square feet of modern laboratory and computational space, including the Center for Computational Life Sciences, Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-oncology and Center for Therapeutics Discovery.
  • Commissioned a new biosafety level 3 laboratory for sophisticated pathogen research, operating under stringent biosafety protocols set by the Centers for Disease Control. The lab provides an important resource for scientists to safely develop diagnostics, treatments and vaccines to prevent and treat current and future infectious diseases.
  • Created nearly 2,000 new jobs since 2021 related to the CID, exceeding the goal of 1,000 new full-time equivalency employees. In collaboration with Cleveland State University, Cleveland Clinic has created courses and degrees for new workforce demands. Since 2021, there have been more than 2,000 degrees supported and certificates that were awarded in programs such as phlebotomy, cardiac ultrasound and diagnostic medical sonography.
  • Cleveland Clinic formed research partnerships with IBM in addition to Canon. Together with IBM, Cleveland Clinic on its main campus opened the first quantum computer dedicated to healthcare. The research teams have launched more than 50 research projects leveraging advanced computing technologies and begun publishing results.
  • In 2023, Cleveland Clinic received $435 million in research funding, which supported more than 3,700 active research projects.

Cleveland State University:

  • Awarded a total of 2,031 degrees in STEM/CS programs in the first three years of the project; and 3,270 certificate programs in workforce development fields have been completed.
  • Saw a 27% increase in the number of students enrolled in the 16 degree programs targeted by JobsOhio over the 2019 academic year baseline. Year-over-year retention of first year undergraduate and master’s students has increased by eight points.
  • Two hundred organizations employed students in co-op/internships from JobsOhio-targeted programs for Year 2 (Su22/F22/Sp23), an increase of 115% from the previous year.
  • In May 2023, 457 students graduated from the JobsOhio-targeted STEM/CS programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and PhD levels. Of the 351 students who responded to our survey, 86% found professional employment related to their field of study, and 7% are pursuing additional education, indicating that the demand for graduates with these STEM/CS degrees remains high.
  • Hosted a total of 778 middle school and high school students in STEM-related summer camps in the previous two years.

The MetroHealth System:

University Hospitals:

  • Attained $197 million in annual research funding, eclipsing the JobsOhio milestone goal by 15% and last year’s actual by 11%.
  • Signed a 10-year agreement with Oxford University, launching the Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre Therapeutics Accelerator to find cures for rare diseases.
  • Managed more than 3,400 active clinical trials and research studies with a 20% increase in patient enrollment year over year. For example, there is a multi-institutional effort that includes The MetroHealth System, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals to identify underserved populations within Northeast Ohio and leverage hypertension data to serve our surrounding communities with the right resources and preventative care.
  • The National Institutes of Health awarded Dr. Grace McComsey and Case Western Reserve University’s CTSC a seven-year, $56.3 million grant renewal in 2023 to advance initiatives that improve people’s health in Northern Ohio and beyond. The CTSC also added the University of Toledo and Northeast Ohio Medical University to its collaborative that included Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System, University Hospitals and the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System.
  • Expanded the Wesley Center for Immunotherapy by more than 10,000 square feet, where in conjunction with UH Seidman Cancer Center, we have launched a clinical trial in which an “in-house” CAR T-cell therapy is manufactured within 24 to 48hrs and others are manufactured in 8 days, compared to an average of 12-30 days in commercially available CAR T-cell therapy trials. UH CAR T-cell therapy patients have an 80% overall response in complete and partial remission.
  • Exceeded 10 year job creation targets by 80%.
  • Established the UH Radiology A.I. & Diagnostic Innovation Collaborative (RadiCLE) -- an artificial intelligence hub that already paved the way for FDA-approval of fracture detection software by AZMed.