You've heard about it on the radio; you've read about it in various newspapers. The Issue 1 bond renewal, which funds the Ohio Third Frontier (OTF) program, will be on the state-wide ballot on May 4. Some facts and figures since OTF's inception in 2002:
- 570 new companies created
- Over 300 projects state-wide
- 48,000 direct and indirect jobs created; goal of 96,000 jobs over the OTF period
- Estimated $6.6 billion in economic impact
- $2.4 billion in wages and benefits to Ohioans
- Over 65% increase in private equity investment in Ohio due to OTF
- Since 2000, the number of bioscience jobs has increased by almost 18%
Issue 1 is not a new tax, but rather an extension of a bond issue initially approved in 2005 for $500 million. OTF funds are highly competitive, and are available throughout the state. Large, notable beneficiaries of the funds include the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, the University of Akron, CincyTech and Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, the University of Dayton and GE Aviation in Dayton, and the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo.
OTF supports research, entrepreneurship, private investment, and jobs by focusing on technology and innovation. Some of the programs OTF funds include: Advanced Energy, Entrepreneurial Signature Program, and Biomedical Research and Commercialization.
Despite the economic impact, there are numerous barriers to passage:
- The stigma of "stimulus", and bigger government hand-outs
- The long-term payback of such endeavors
- The need for funds throughout the state for transportation and infrastructure
Support has primarily been bipartisan. Check out more information at www.thirdfrontier.com, and decide for yourself. If you have any questions, post a comment below or contact our Biotech Group at 440-449-6800.