The Northwest Ohio Innovation Consortium (NOIC) announced that it received a $31.3 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development to establish a Northwest Ohio Glass Innovation Hub.

The Northwest Ohio Innovation Consortium (NOIC) announced that it received a $31.3 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development to establish a Northwest Ohio Glass Innovation Hub. NOIC partners include First Solar and Pilkington North America.

Ohio’s funding will be matched by $10.4 million in cost-sharing funds from the private sector, public universities, federal grants, economic development organizations and community foundations.

NOIC officials say the hub is expected to create 1,600 jobs and have a $284 million economic impact over the next five years. It is also expected to increase state tax revenue by $25 million and produce more than 200 new graduates working in science, technology, engineering and math fields to meet workforce demands.

“This innovation hub is just one step toward reestablishing the area as the premier source of innovation for the glass, solar and advanced manufacturing industries,” says NOIC president Roger Smith.

NOIC officials say that in addition to the hub, the organization intends to create a Glass Center of Excellence in Northwest Ohio, improve the strength and weight of glass products, commercialize alternative fuels and make necessary infrastructure improvements, improve furnace efficiency and longevity, and enhance the glass recycling stream, among other things.

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