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Northwest Ohio Innovation Consortium Receives Glass Innovation Grant

The Northwest Ohio Innovation Consortium received a $31.3 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development’s Innovation Hubs program to establish a Northwest Ohio Glass Innovation Hub.

The innovation hub is expected to create 1,600 jobs and a $284 million economic impact over the next five years. The hub 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 surging workforce demands.

The state funds will be matched by $10.4 million in cost-sharing funds from private-sector industry, public-sector universities, federal grants, economic development organizations and community foundations.

What NOIC says

“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 Roger Smith, president, Northwest Ohio Innovation Consortium. “State funding will accelerate our ability to solve industry-wide challenges and drive innovation in priority areas like sustainability, cost, talent and product performance, which are business imperatives for the companies of northwest Ohio.”

More information

Over the next seven years, NOIC expects to deliver commercialized results in the following areas to improve the glass industry:

  • Create a Glass Center of Excellence in Northwest Ohio.
  • Commercialize alternative fuels and necessary infrastructure improvements.
  • Improve furnace efficiency and longevity.
  • Improve energy optimization and consistency using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Strength and weight improvements to glass products.
  • Improve the available glass recycling stream through improved processing.
  • Industry Talent Development – focused on high school through PhD, keeping students interested in STEM and providing opportunities for paid internships leading to employment.

NOIC received cost-sharing funds from O-I Glass, Owens Corning, First Solar, Libbey Glass, Pilkington North America, University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, Glass Manufacturers Industry Council, Actual Reality, CelSianUSA, Owens Community College, ConnecToledo, and the Regional Growth Partnership.