OU Innovation Center receives $ 1.2 million from CARES Act | News, Sports, Jobs

From staff reports

Ohio University’s Innovation Center, a business incubator, received $ 1.2 million under the Economic Development Administration’s CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

According to the center, the grant will be matched with $ 304,225 of local funds, all of which will be used to provide technical assistance to biotechnology entrepreneurs and improve laboratory equipment in the building where the innovation center is located.

“We are very grateful to the EDA for the confidence it has placed in us with this award”, said Stacy Strauss, director of the center. “When we increase the quality of shared equipment and fund the business development assistance we provide to biotech and life science startups, we create opportunities for new businesses that create better paying jobs.

The grant, awarded by the US Department of Commerce’s EDA, will be combined with a recent $ 250,000 award from the Appalachian Regional Commission and an award previously won by the US Economic Development Administration. of $ 1.15 million.

In addition to providing emerging businesses with a professional space, the Innovation Center also provides business coaching, advice and expertise to overcome the pitfalls and obstacles of starting a new business.

“Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in interest from entrepreneurs who want to help solve the challenges created by the pandemic and other market factors. “ Strauss said. “This grant, combined with those the Innovation Center previously received, allows us to contribute to the region’s economic development and support small emerging businesses.

The Ohio University Innovation Center supported 335 jobs that generated an estimated $ 22 million in employee compensation in Athens County in 2019, according to an economic impact report released last year. The center also received the Randall M. Whaley 2019 Incubator of the Year award and the 2019 Rural Entrepreneurship Center of the Year award.

“The Innovation Center (at Ohio University) plays a vital role in the university’s efforts to put knowledge at the service of our region and humanity in general,” said Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity. “The EDA award will extend the reach and impact of the center by supporting biotech startups. “

The Innovation Center is currently accepting new clients. Entrepreneurs and startups who have an idea for a new business are encouraged to seek help. For more information, visit www.innovateohio.com.

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