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Ohio’s first Innovation Hub getting $40M in taxpayer funds

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(The Center Square) – More than $40 million in state and local taxpayer money is expected to be spent creating Ohio’s first Innovation Hub.

Gov. Mike DeWine recently announced the collaboration, which officials say will enhance northwest Ohio’s position as a global leader in glass science, engineering, technology and production.

“Innovation rarely happens without daring ideas and bold risks, and Ohio’s new Glass Innovation Hub will be a groundbreaking example of what we can achieve when we build partnerships and promote collaboration,” DeWine said. “This new venture will enhance the Toledo region’s competitiveness on a global scale, propelling northwest Ohio to the forefront of glass and solar innovation.”

The state plans to spend $31.3 million from the Ohio Innovation Hubs program, while another $10.4 million is expected to come from local investment.

The Northwest Ohio Glass Innovation Hub could build on Toledo’s legacy as the Glass Capital of the World, and officials believe it will spur job growth in both the glass and solar industry sectors.

They also say the hub will have an anticipated $284 million economic impact, 1,600 jobs, $25 million in tax revenue and 230 new STEM graduates.

“The glass industry moved to northwest Ohio because of its proximity to natural resources, but its future growth will depend on innovation and talent. The innovation hub designation and funding will help make it more likely that companies and the region will have a more prosperous future,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

The hub will be at the Glass Center of Excellence on the campus of O-I Glass in Perrysburg.

The Ohio Innovation Hubs Program was created as part of the state budget last year to grow investment outside the state’s major metro areas.

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