Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted Unveil Cleveland Innovation District

Monday, January 25, 2021

Public-private coalition establishes Ohio as a global force in human welfare with new pathogen center

COLUMBUS, Ohio —Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted were joined by the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA), JobsOhio, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, The MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, City of Cleveland, and state legislators to unveil the Cleveland Innovation District. The Cleveland Innovation District brings together Northeast Ohio’s world-class healthcare providers and education institutions with the goal of creating a pathogen center with global reach to improve the lives of millions of people and to generate more than 20,000 jobs in Ohio over 10 years.

The Cleveland Innovation District will be a center of excellence that acts as a catalyst for ongoing investment in Northeast Ohio, including the attraction of businesses and the talent needed to keep the state competitive in healthcare and IT.

“The Cleveland Innovation District creates partnerships across different sectors of the economy and positions Ohio as a competitive place to invest in,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Each of the Cleveland Innovation District partners bring unique skills and areas of expertise.  Having these institutions partner together will help Ohio emerge as a leader in healthcare and IT nationally and globally.”

The State of Ohio, through DSA, and JobsOhio, and Cleveland Clinic, will commit a combined $565 million to the Cleveland Innovation District. A significant portion of this commitment will be put towards the creation of the Cleveland Clinic’s new Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health.

“We’ve all known for a long time that if you could bring these five great institutions together we could build a world-class health innovation destination for Cleveland and Ohio, and that’s exactly what we are doing today,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “This is an important part of making Ohio the most innovative, entrepreneurial state in the Midwest, a goal the InnovateOhio team is pursuing every day.”

The Innovation District will be a point of collaboration among healthcare, higher education, and business institutions, creating significant research, development, and job opportunities. The Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health’s focus will be on research and innovation regarding pathogens, both current and future health threats.

“The Cleveland Innovation District will be anchored by premier institutions in medicine and learning that will drive the next great advancements in healthcare education and R&D while positively impacting the lives of millions around the world,” said JobsOhio president and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “Together, each partner will play a unique role and the combined effort will establish Ohio nationally, and globally, as a go-to place for innovation with the talent that makes it happen.”

The State of Ohio, through DSA, together with JobsOhio’s private funding, will commit $265 million. DSA will commit to $155 million, and JobsOhio will invest $110 million. An additional $300 million will be invested by Cleveland Clinic.

As the Cleveland Innovation District develops, it is expected that additional investments will be made.

“Working with our local partners, we have a strategy for the Cleveland Innovation District that leverages our state and local strengths,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “Northeast Ohio will become the premier location for advancements in healthcare and medicine.”

The Cleveland Innovation District’s goal is to bring 20,000 new jobs to Northeast Ohio over 10 years. This includes 10,000 direct jobs in the healthcare and IT sectors, as well as 10,000 indirect jobs. The economic impact of the Innovation District is expected to be $3 billion for Cleveland and Ohio.

“We are honored to join Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted in their vision for transformational impact in our great state of Ohio,” said Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and president, Cleveland Clinic. “This historic investment will position Cleveland Clinic’s Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health to alter the course of human welfare. The world has experienced the destruction triggered by pathogens, we will be part of the solution. Together, our four world-class partners will build the Cleveland Innovation District into a vibrant forward-thinking partnership that creates jobs, transforms research and educates the workforce of the future.”

Additionally, the Cleveland Innovation District will build and invest in current initiatives at the partner institutions. Case Western Reserve’s Next Generation Health Care initiative will further expand community engagement, and quantitative health efforts to improve population-wide well-being.  The initiative builds on the university’s biomedical technologies and drug development to advance diagnosis and treatment for cancer, cardiac, neurological, and infectious diseases.

“To see such strong collaboration among our five institutions bodes well for the future,” said Scott Cowen, interim president of Case Western Reserve University. “We are grateful to the State of Ohio and JobsOhio for this investment, and look forward to working with our partners to create jobs and businesses that not only contribute to Cleveland’s economy, but also enhance the health and well-being of our region.”

The MetroHealth System will partner with the institutions and further expand expertise in population health, medical informatics, epidemiology and modeling to support early detection, and monitoring of disease spread within communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically shown why we need a robust public health ecosystem, one that can respond quickly to new threats through research, innovative treatment and effective, community-informed delivery of care and that is sustained by a world-class workforce,” said MetroHealth CEO and President Akram Boutros, MD. “The blueprint we’re unveiling today – and the collaboration between the state and the five major local institutions that produced it – builds on Cleveland’s existing strengths and sets us up to be the global leader in health innovation and education. This will bring new investment to Cleveland and help make both our community and the world healthier and safer.”

University Hospitals will leverage current research and partnerships in the Cleveland Innovation District to identify and attract technology and process innovation for pharmaceutical development generated in Northeast Ohio. Specifically, University Hospitals will lead efforts to advance medical research and product innovation.

“As an anchor institution focused on community benefit, we hold in the highest regard our responsibility for taking a leadership role in ensuring the economic vitality and prosperity of the Northeast Ohio region,” explained Cliff A. Megerian, MD, President of University Hospitals. “And as a health system whose mission is ‘To Heal. To Teach. To Discover’ it’s incumbent upon us to ensure we invest in medical research and innovation as well as the necessary talent to fuel discovery. We are proud to collaborate with the Governor’s office, Ohio DSA, JobsOhio and our partners in the Cleveland Innovation District to lead the efforts focused on Global Health and Emerging Infections; SmartHealth Product Innovation; and leveraging the success of The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals, part of the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, an international initiative to enable advancement of therapeutic breakthroughs. Today, University Hospitals has nearly 3,000 clinical research studies underway, with more than 150 focused specifically on COVID-19 prevention and treatment, which underscores our excitement for leading such an important and vital project not only for our region, but for advancing medical discovery in general.”

Cleveland State University (CSU) will invest in education and talent development to increase the number of higher education degrees, adult learning opportunities, and virtual educational programming opportunities in key STEM fields. Through this initiative, CSU is tasked with recruiting, educating and graduating the skilled talent needed to fuel growth in post-pandemic health care careers, emerging technologies, life sciences, and data-intensive fields.

“As the largest producer in the state of 4-year college graduates that live and work in NEO, we are extremely excited about this investment that will enable us to do even more,” said Cleveland State University President Harlan Sands. “We are grateful for the investment that the State of Ohio and JobsOhio is making in our unique partnership. We can’t wait to get started!”

City of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson joined the Cleveland Innovation District partners, and expressed his support for the collaborative and innovative nature of the partnership.

“The City of Cleveland congratulates our project partners the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, MetroHealth, Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University.  Today’s announcement is another example of how our collaborative efforts position Cleveland’s economy for the future,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “We look forward to future collaboration with these partners to bring more jobs and innovation in the Cleveland Innovation District and Opportunity Corridor.”


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