Monday, November 2, 2009

Strickland Announces Ohio's Centers of Excellence in Advanced Energy at Eight Universities

Centers support state's work in developing, supplying advanced energy technologies

Columbus, Ohio – Governor Ted Strickland, together with Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut, today announced Ohio's Centers of Excellence in advanced energy at a press conference at the Ohio Board of Regents.

The nine Centers, located at eight universities throughout the state, are committed to focusing their academic and research activities on advanced energy development to strengthen Ohio as a global leader in the advanced energy economy and to meet the requirements of Senate Bill 221, signed by the governor last year.

Senate Bill 221 gives Ohio the third most aggressive advanced energy portfolio standard in the nation and mandates that 25 percent of all electricity sold in Ohio come from advanced energy sources by 2025.

"Meeting our advanced energy standard depends on making sure we continue to develop new technologies," Strickland said. "These Centers of Excellence will play a key role in meeting that goal as well as strengthening Ohio's position as a market leader in supplying the world's advanced energy economies. That is important for a simple reason — when we grow these industries, we create jobs."

The Centers are located at the following universities:

  • Bowling Green State University: Sustainability and the Environment
  • Case Western Reserve University: Great Lakes Energy Institute
  • Central State University: Emerging Technologies
  • University of Cincinnati: Sustaining the Urban Environment
  • University of Dayton: Von Ohain Fuels & Combustion; and Strategic Energy and Environmental Informatics
  • The Ohio State University: Climate, Energy, and the Environment
  • Ohio University: Energy and the Environment
  • University of Toledo: Advanced Renewable Energy and the Environment

The announcement is one of several the governor is making this week as he travels the state to demonstrate Ohio's commitment to a growing advanced energy economy.

Governor Strickland, who serves as co-chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission, hosted the 13 Appalachian states for the three-day national conference in Athens this week titled New Energy. New Jobs. New Opportunities for Appalachia. The governor is also touring several advanced and renewable energy businesses and incubators.

The Centers of Excellence, as outlined in Ohio's 10-year Strategic Plan for Higher Education, will position the University System of Ohio to be a magnet for talent and a leader in innovation and entrepreneurial activity by developing distinct missions for each institution that are recognized by students, faculty and business leaders, while eliminating unnecessary competition for resources, students and faculty within the state.

"Ohio's universities are committed to driving economic growth in this state," Fingerhut said. "The Centers of Excellence in advanced energy announced today will create the technologies and innovations needed to make Ohio a global leader in an economy that requires a modern, cheap, and clean energy infrastructure."

Ohio is already ranked in the top five for clean energy job creation, energy efficiency and environmentally friendly production jobs, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, and is first in the nation for renewable and advanced energy manufacturing.

Today's announcement is the first of five groupings of university Centers of Excellence that align with the state's targeted industries, as well as focus on talent recruitment. The first four categories are specific to Ohio's growth industries — advanced energy, transportation and logistics, biomedical and healthcare, and agriculture and food production. The fifth group is focused on attracting and retaining talent to the state through additional programs that are essential in building communities and attracting creative talent.

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