Ohio's $1.6 billion Third Frontier research and tech-commercialization effort, set to expire in 2012, generated $6.6 billion of economic activity, 41,300 total jobs, and $2.4 billion in employee wages and benefits following $681 million in state spending on the program between 2003 and 2008, according to a report released this week at a meeting of the Ohio Third Frontier Advisory Board and Commission.
Making an Impact: Assessing the Benefits of Ohio’s Investment in Technology-Based Economic Development Programs recommended that Third Frontier officials ensure that the program will continue past 2012; foster a better understanding of the program and its relationship to Ohio’s strengths; enable a stronger balance between research support and commercialization; and emphasize more entrepreneurial support programs, technology company attraction, and cluster expansion.
Ohio credits Third Frontier with commercializing or creating more than 500 companies and attracting $3.5 billion in private investment to Ohio. The report also credited Ohio Third Frontier with boosting the state's economy and high-tech business climate by:
• Dramatically increasing the availability of early-stage capital
• Improving the entrepreneurial environment for technology
• Improving research and development collaboration
• Driving employment growth in Ohio’s technology sector
• Contributing to the diversity and competitiveness of Ohio’s manufacturers
• Recruiting non-Ohio companies
• Charting a course consistent with tech-based growth in other regions
Making an Impact was produced for Ohio's Department of Development by SRI International and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. The project also received guidance from the Ohio Third Frontier Advisory Board and Commission.