Ohio University Innovation Center Receives USDA Office of Rural Development Grant to Advance Technical Business Development

The Ohio University Innovation Center recently received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development to provide technical and business support to current and future customers of the Innovation Center from Ohio University.

The project, titled “Business Development Technical Assistance for Advanced Manufacturing, Alternative Energy and Additive Manufacturing,” will use approximately $100,000.

“We are excited to be able to continue to provide our current clients with the technical and industry business development advice they need to grow their business,” said Stacy Strauss, Director of the Innovation Center. “We appreciate the continued support of the USDA which enables the valuable work we do to create economic development through entrepreneurial support.”

The purpose of the funding is to ensure that innovation hub clients have access to hub staff, who provide business development advice, including business acumen; compliance with regulatory oversight; understanding of the proper use and maintenance of manufacturing equipment; creation of manufacturing protocols and procedures to ensure safety, efficiency and compliance with standards; and training client personnel on equipment and protocols. This support will enable entrepreneurs and start-ups to advance their technologies, get them to market faster and grow. The end goal of this provision of technical services is to increase the creation of new businesses and jobs, thus helping to improve the economic impact in the region.

The Innovation Center is an internationally renowned, award-winning business incubator that provides resources and guidance to tech and technology startups based in Athens and the surrounding region. Located in its purpose-built 36,000 square foot facility, the Innovation Center is a key player in fueling the economic development of Southeast Ohio. Since 1983, the Innovation Center has helped launch over 300 businesses and created over 3,000 well-paying jobs in the Southeastern Ohio region. In 2021 alone, the The Innovation Hub’s 2021 Economic Impact Report highlighted program support for the creation and/or retention of 249 jobs that generated approximately $18 million in employee compensation and $49.7 million in production economy in the county of Athens.

The center supports its clients with a considerable range of resources via virtual or on-site client membership that includes executive coaching, professional office space, state-of-the-art labs, additive manufacturing, conference and meeting spaces, contracts low-cost supplier and access to an extensive network of industry experts from public and private companies. Additional amenities include a fully equipped business center, high-speed internet, parking, and more. For more information, visit www.innovateohio.com.

About Keneth T. Graves

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