Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fingerhut Announces Ohio Centers of Excellence to Attract Talent and Commercialize Innovations

Six universities support state's work in aerospace, aviation, transportation and logistics

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut today announced Ohio's Centers of Excellence in Advanced Transportation and Aerospace at University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering, Herman Schneider Quadrangle.
The centers, at six universities throughout the state, are committed to focusing their academic and research activities on aerospace, aviation, transportation and logistics to create jobs and strengthen Ohio's ability to bring innovative technologies to commercialization.
"In competing for outside research funding, top faculty and high-tech jobs, it is critical for Ohio's colleges and universities to focus their unique strengths to incite innovation and keep fast-growing companies and talent in our state," Chancellor Fingerhut said. "The Centers of Excellence in Advanced Transportation and Aerospace do precisely that and will help drive the state's higher education network's goal of being the best in the nation at spurring economic growth."
The Centers are located at the following universities:
  • Case Western Reserve University: Aerospace Engineering
  • University of Cincinnati: Intelligent Air & Space Vehicle Energy Systems
  • University of Dayton: High Performance Materials; Optoelectronics and Sensors
  • The University of Toledo: Transportation and Logistics
  • The Ohio State University: Transportation for Tomorrow's Economy
  • Wright State University: Advancing Aerospace and Transportation: Center of Excellence in Product Reliability and Optimization, and Center of Excellence for Micro Air Vehicle Research; Human-Centered Innovation (announced earlier this year)
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. The centers will accomplish this 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 rich history in aerospace and aviation, coupled with its central location and robust infrastructure, makes it already a clear leader in aerospace, transportation and logistics. The state boasts more than 66,000 civilian employees at more than 600 private companies in the aerospace and defense industry – nearly double the national average, ranking Ohio first among the 12 comparable Midwestern States. In addition, the state has one of the world's foremost supply chains for the industry with more than 450 aeropropulsion and power manufacturers and suppliers, with a labor pool of approximately 775,000 manufacturing workers to help grow businesses within this industry.
With its 180 public airports, eight interstate highways, 36 freight railroads and 25 waterfront ports, the state provides timely access to the many cities and ports throughout the United States, holding a globally competitive edge by reducing transportation costs through multi-modal and inter-modal networks for efficient import and export of products. This advantage allows Ohio to attract businesses dedicated to transporting commodities, warehousing, supply-chain management, sourcing and procurement, production planning and scheduling, packaging and assembly, customer service and international trade assistance.
As the nation's leader in advanced propulsion and power technology, Ohio provides a world-class research environment that is well-positioned to continue providing the research and education support that fuel the industry's cutting-edge technologies. The state's transportation industry encompasses companies that offer products and services that are specifically based on knowledge of aerospace, aviation and propulsion and runs the gamut of advanced propulsion technologies for all aerospace vehicle types – aircraft, rockets, and spacecraft – with both military and commercial applications. Power generation systems are of equal importance as much of the same technology applies. There are a broad range of technology application and research areas, including but not limited to, gas turbines, combustion engines, propeller design/manufacturing, helicopter rotors and propellants.
This Centers of Excellence category focuses on aerospace, transportation and logistics. Four other categories are specific to Ohio's growth industries – advanced energy, biomedicine and health care, agriculture, food production and bioproducts, and technologies that cross-cut Ohio's growth industries such as advanced materials and sensors. A sixth group is focused on enhancing the quality of life around the state through additional programs that are essential in building communities and attracting the best and brightest to Ohio.
Today marks the fifth Ohio Centers of Excellence announcement. In October 2009, Governor Ted Strickland and Chancellor Fingerhut announced Ohio's Centers of Excellence in Advanced Energy at eight of the state's universities.Ohio's Centers of Excellence in Biomedicine and Health Care at 14 universities were announced in February. In March, Governor Strickland and Chancellor Fingerhut announced Ohio's Center of Excellence in Agriculture, Food Production and Bioproducts at The Ohio State University's Food Industry Center. Ohio's Centers of Excellence in Enabling Technologies: Materials and Sensors at five universities were announced at The University of Akron's Goodyear Polymer Center in April.


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