Cleveland Innovation District Outlines Future

UH Cleveland Medical Center

Anchor institutions update progress from beginning in January

By Terry Troy

Anchor institutions at the Cleveland Innovation District offered a progress report last week, the first since the $565 million organization was announced last January. The partnership between JobsOhio, the Ohio Department of Development, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, the MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University will attract fast growing business and in-demand talent, create 20,000 jobs over ten years and establish a pathogen center with global reach to improve the lives of millions.

Representatives from Ohio government and economic development organizations were on hand to share the progress report.

“The Cleveland Innovation District will play an essential role in attracting and retaining STEM graduates who will make Ohio a global leader in developing life-saving research and treatments worldwide,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “The advancements made here will bolster Ohio’s healthcare and IT sectors and be a magnet for fast-growing companies seeking the talent and innovations that will bring high paying, long-term jobs to Northeast Ohio.”

The Cleveland Innovation District will be a center of excellence that acts as a catalyst for ongoing investment in Northeast Ohio, including attracting and creating new businesses and talent needed to ensure the state is a leader in the healthcare and IT sectors.

“Bringing together these five great institutions to build a world-class innovation hub has already proven to be a success,” added Lt. Governor Jon Husted, director of InnovateOhio. “As researchers and businesses learn more about what the Cleveland Innovation District has to offer, we will build on these successes to attract more talent and investment that will lead to a virtuous cycle of healthcare innovation and job creation.”

“The Cleveland Innovation District will spur the growth of technologies, talent, research-related investments, and companies here that will help Ohio emerge as a pivotal destination on the global innovation map,” said J.P. Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio. “Through this partnership, the Innovation District will establish Ohio as a leader in STEM and digital talent and attract projects with small, medium, and large private-sector companies looking to invest and grow their businesses, helping strengthen Cleveland’s urban core.”

In addition to 20,000 new jobs, the Cleveland Innovation District is expected to create 10,000 new STEM graduates, $3 billion in new research, and $3 billion in economic impact.

Anchor institutions also shared their achievements over the past 11 months.

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) was able to increase investments in biomedical research with significant commercial

promise by 50%, supported projects including work on early detection of prostate cancer, hypertension reduction for drug-resistant patients, and a high-resolution 3D microscopic ultrasound system for quickly identifying eye injuries and disease. In addition, the university increased staffing to assist faculty in bringing research breakthroughs to market, and launched new master’s degrees in computer science, health care management and FinTech, as well as a certificate in experimental biotechnology.

Cleveland Clinic hired 300 toward the seven-year commitment of 1,000 new jobs to be created related to the Cleveland Innovation District, including research, education, information technology and supply chain. Cleveland Clinic launched Discovery Accelerator with IBM, a 10-year partnership that serves as the technology foundation of the Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health. Cleveland Clinic opened the Cleveland Clinic BioRepository, the first new building in the Cleveland Innovation District. It also launched the expansion of research facilities and recruited world leaders in immunology, cancer biology, pathogen research, technology development and more.

Cleveland State University (CSU) has achieved a 40% enrollment increase in 16 target STEM programs since last year and has seen a 30% increase in the number of companies participating in its engineering and computer science career fair, both one year ahead of CSU’s initial goal. The university is developing a new Bachelor of Science degree program in Data Science. In addition, CSU is laying the groundwork for increased faculty and supports for STEM degree programs.

The MetroHealth System (MetroHealth) began construction on a Good Manufacturing Practice vector production cleanroom that will enable the production of viral technology for cancer treatments and immunotherapies and give the research ecosystem access to critical innovation. MetroHealth is chairing a working group across the Cleveland Innovation District to bring innovation to neighboring communities. MetroHealth worked with CSU on a pathway for Psychology undergraduates to get clinical experience and become eligible to deliver behavioral health and addiction services with a bachelor’s degree, and remains engaged with CSU on the design and development of certificate programs.

University Hospitals (UH) completed the design and initiated construction on the Wesley Center for Immunotherapy at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland. The center will enable physician-scientists to engage in groundbreaking research and bring new, life-extending immunotherapy treatments to patients. UH also created 15 new research positions to advance world-class research and innovation. University Hospitals initiated funding of numerous clinical trials and research studies focused on global health and emerging infections. This included NEO-CURE in collaboration with other Cleveland Innovation District anchors, which is part of the National Institutes of Health’s research to understand COVID “long hauler” syndrome.