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Ohio Chamber points to Y'town as model for growing 'innovation economy'

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Architects of a new plan to accelerate Ohio’s economic growth point to work being done in the Youngstown area as an example of something that should be scaled up statewide.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation today unveiled Ohio BOLD, what it calls “a blueprint for accelerating the innovation economy.”

The report, the nonprofit organization’s first large-scale research project, identifies innovation as the key to catching up Ohio’s economic growth to the national average.

The primary recommendation is the state create four statewide innovation hubs focusing on four areas the report calls “opportunity platforms” – next-generation manufacturing and materials, future health, smart infrastructure and data analytics.

“NextGen manufacturing is the area where we really look to Youngstown as a model of that,” said Elliot Reed, a foundation board member and program manager for the REDI zone, a public-private partnership at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

The report notes America Makes, a Youngstown Business Incubator company that is a national leader in advanced manufacturing and 3-D printing technology, as an example of a successful initiative “that would benefit the entire state if scaled up.”

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