Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tech Across Ohio - Rolls-Royce Investment Accelerates Ohio's Fuel Cell Technology Economy

Fuel cell research division expansion to invest $3 million at North Canton testing center

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Rolls-Royce's announcement that it will expand its Ohio fuel cell research operations furthers the state's reputation as a national advanced energy leader in fuel cell technology, according to the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment. Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems will invest $3 million in processing and testing equipment to consolidate its research and development activities at its North American headquarters at Stark State College of Technology in North Canton.
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"The partnership with Rolls-Royce, Stark State and the state of Ohio demonstrates a commitment to accelerating Ohio's economy through continued growth in our high-growth industries and collaboration with our higher education institutions," said Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. "This type of investment is exactly what we need to create and expand business opportunities for Ohio companies and position our state as a leader in innovation and technology." Rolls-Royce's expansion is expected to create about 60 jobs and sustain 32 existing fuel cell technology jobs in Ohio.
More Rolls-Royce investment into fuel cell research at Stark State is a return on investment for Ohio, which has awarded $3.5 million to the company and invested $7.5 million at the college to help establish its fuel cell prototyping center. Rolls-Royce is developing utility-scale fuel cells at the North Canton site, with potential to launch production in 2012.
Over $75 million in Ohio grants have been invested in fuel cell R&D and manufacturing process improvements, demonstrations and commercialization projects since 2003 with a continuing state commitment to additional funding support. The Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, of which Rolls-Royce is a member, also supports the industry as a fuel cell commercialization advocate.
"Ohio's unique assets are what makes it the hub of the global fuel cell technology economy," said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition. "It's one of the few places in the world where all phases of fuel cell development take place. And beyond advantages in supply chain and skilled work force, it's an ideal location for business investment with work:life balance for executives and their employees. Ohio's low-cost, low-stress communities and combination of micropolitan and metropolitan cities provides executives and employees the resources and time to make any ambition achievable. Ohio truly is the state of perfect balance."
About the Ohio Business Development Coalition
The Ohio Business Development Coalition is a nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment. The OBDC provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio's economic development efforts. For more information on business development or business relocation, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.


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