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Ohio Corporate Moves

Hamlet Protein Brings Animal Feed Production to Findlay

Hamlet Protein, a manufacturer of soy-based protein for animal feeds headquartered in Horsens, Denmark, will begin production in Findlay, OH in early 2012, creating 25 jobs.

Hamlet Protein is investing $20 million in Findlay: $15 million in machinery and equipment, $4 million to buy the plant and $1 million in renovations, according to Findlay-Hancock County Alliance Economic Development Director Anthony Iriti.

The Findlay site beat out competing locations in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. A $2 million low-interest loan to Hamlet was approved by Ohio officials. The state also offered a $96,000 payroll tax credit over six years for the jobs to be created.

Also, Hancock Regional Planning Commission is making a $500,000 low-interest loan from its revolving loan fund. Hancock County JobSolutions is extending $369,000 in assistance, including $310,000 in worker training and $59,000 in recruitment and screening assistance.

Hamlet will operate in an 88,000-square-foot building constructed by A. Schulman in 2008 but never occupied, north of Tall Timbers Industrial Center at 5289 Invision Drive.

Hamlet Protein will buy its raw materials from soybean farmers in the area.

“Agriculture plays a major role in our county, and we’re happy to see this area of industry growing,” Hancock County Commissioner Ed Ingold told the Courier News. “The presence of Hamlet Protein will be a huge benefit for our agricultural sector and economy as a whole.”

Hamlet Protein’s supplements go mainly into feed for piglets. But Hamlet Protein officials see opportunities to sell more protein supplements to makers of food for poultry, calves and pets.

Hamlet Protein’s Findlay plant will employ people in operations, administrative and information technology jobs, the state Development Department reported. The average wage will be $22 per hour plus $10 per hour in benefits, the state reported.

Findlay Mayor Pete Sehnert called Hamlet Protein a great company with great values. “This organization will be a wonderful addition to our community,” Sehnert said.

Finnish Wireless Tech Company Lands in Akron

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic has announced that Finland-based wireless network technology company, 7signal Ltd., is locating its sales offices and Network Operation Center in Akron’s Biomedical Corridor.

“In today’s world of health care,” said the Mayor, “one of the most critical missions is to develop computerized software and hardware that enhances the work of doctors and hospitals.”

The mission of 7signal is to make wireless LAN (WLAN) network work reliably in hospital settings. The company’s unique “Wireless Quality Assurance (WQA)” solution helps to ensure that end-users of the healthcare applications (doctors, nurses, medical records, and critical medical devices) connect reliably and stay connected all the time.

“With our solution, it is possible to continuously monitor and take preventive actions on the hospital’s wireless network services,” said Jukka-Pekka Sarkka, 7signal’s CEO. “This allows the wireless network manager to ensure that wirelessly enabled clinical and business processes are run smoothly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.”

7signal has been operating successfully at Akron General Medical Center and Akron Children’s Hospital for the past four months. “7signal has a quality solution that aids us in the expansion of our wireless capabilities. We are always looking for ways to expand our high tech/high touch health care delivery systems,” said Akron Children’s Hospital CIO Tom Ogg. “We appreciate the efforts of the City of Akron and the Chamber of Commerce in bringing us new vendors like 7signal.”

“Everything we have done at Akron Global Business Accelerator including the BioFinland Technology Bridge Program has been to bring jobs to Akron,” the mayor said.

“Akron General is very pleased to partner with 7signal on this project,” said Dave Fiser, Vice President and CIO for Akron General Health System. “We are especially proud to help the City of Akron in expanding its Biomedical Corridor.”

7signal was founded in Helsinki, Finland by former Nokia Research & Development managers—turned entrepreneurs—in 2006, and located in the award-winning Akron Global Business Accelerator which has been a key partner in the development of the BioFinland Technology Bridge Program, established by Mayor Plusquellic in 2010 with the city of Helsinki.

BioFinland is a collaborative initiative between the city of Akron, the Akron Global Business Accelerator and the Helsinki Business and Science Park, Finland’s premier business incubator focused in life sciences.

Implementation of the BioFinland Technology Bridge has been coordinated by Bob Anthony of the Akron Global Accelerator, Raimo Vaintola, managing director of Radvisor Oy, and Antti Sekki, business development director of the Helsinki Business and Science Park.

Röchling Automotive To Open Parts Plant in Akron

Röchling Automotive AG of Germany plans to open a new U.S. manufacturing plant this year in Akron to supply fuel-saving engine and body undershields to Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co.

Röchling said it would invest a double-digit-million-dollar amount in the 75,000-square-foot plant. The company said a third carmaker it would not identify will start sourcing parts from the plant in 2013.

The company specializes in aerodynamic underbody plastic components aimed at improving airflow, thus reducing noise, fuel consumption and emissions. The new plant would be Röchling’s seventh in the United States.

“We see good development prospects in North America for the future,” Georg Duffner, CEO of Röchling Automotive and its parent, the Röchling Group, said in a statement.

The Röchling Group, with headquarters in Mannheim, Germany, had sales of about $1.36 billion in 2010, according to company documents released last month.

Israeli Biotech Firms Flocking to Cleveland

Israeli biotechnology companies increasingly are reaching out to Ohio medical experts, clinics, and investors, and this is bringing lots of new biotech business to Cleveland.

Ohio’s health-care industry has doubled over the past four decades, to more than 600,000 employees. The state is home to the Cleveland Clinic, a leading research hospital. Israel has nearly 200 biotech companies, but it’s tough for them to raise capital or sell many products in their small home market.

Helped by state incentives and a Cleveland venture capital fund dedicated to investing in Israel, growing numbers of Israeli biotechs are moving to or finding partners in Ohio. In the past eight years, at least 14 such companies have raised funds from Ohio-based backers, and a half-dozen of these have opened offices in the state, according to Michael Goldberg, founder of the Cleveland-based Bridge Investment Fund, which has invested about some $5 million into Israeli biotech startups. Another five or biotechs based in Israel have plans to open offices in Ohio soon, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, and dozens more cooperate with Ohio groups in clinical research. Ohio has done more than other states to attract Israeli startups, Goldberg says.

BioEnterprise, founded by Cleveland hospitals and universities to support biosciences in the region, helps connect the Israeli companies with capital, medical expertise, and management teams in the state. The group helped Simbionix, a medical device maker that now employs 80 people, transfer its headquarters from Israel to Cleveland. The Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center, a partnership backed by the state of Ohio that funds development of health-related products, has invested in five Israeli biotechs, says GCIC director Thomas Sudow.

With an office in Tel Aviv, Goldberg’s Bridge fund has invested in five Israeli companies. IceCure Medical, based just north of Tel Aviv, will soon start U.S. sales of a device for treating benign tumors. And EarlySense, which is developing technology that helps nurses track crisis situations, has dispatched researchers to Cleveland.

IceCure Medical LTD., an Israeli medical device company providing physicians with minimally-invasive, office-based, cryoablation solutions for women’s health, will open its U.S. headquarters this month in Cleveland’s Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center (GCIC).

“The unique infrastructure for growing biomedical companies, the support we received from many organizations, and the progressive health care environment that includes world-class institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, led us to choose Cleveland for our U.S. operations,” said Hezi Himelfarb, CEO of IceCure Medical.

The IceCure Cleveland-based staff will be launching U.S. marketing and sales of the new state-of-the-art IceSense3™ cryoablation system. The IceSense3 technology treats benign breast growths through freezing, as a quick, safe and successful alternative to invasive surgery. “We are thrilled to offer a patient-friendly, in office, minimally invasive treatment for benign breast disease,” said Mr. Himelfarb.

“We are pleased that IceCure has selected Ohio as the location for its U.S. operations,” said Jim Leftwich, the Director of the Ohio Department of Development. “The State of Ohio has strongly supported the development of a vibrant biomedical innovation environment.”

“The Health Tech Corridor builds on one of our region’s economic strengths and is an international destination for medical technology companies. Cleveland’s ability to attract companies like IceCure and help them develop their business is essential for the growth and success of the area,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “We welcome them home to the City of Cleveland.”

“This is a testament to how well Northeast Ohio’s economic development partners work together to attract leading organizations into our growing biomedical cluster,” said Tom Waltermire, CEO of Team Northeast Ohio (NEO). “In the future, we anticipate that

IceCure Medical will bring 15 highly skilled jobs and roughly $1 million in annual payroll into the Cleveland Plus region.”

“IceCure Medical has strong growth potential,” said Baiju R. Shah, president and CEO of BioEnterprise, “It’s a testament to the state’s and region’s initiatives to attract foreign high-tech firms and support their business growth in the U.S, including Israeli companies such as MDG Medical, NI Medical, and Simbionix, that IceCure has selected Cleveland.”

Supported by the Ohio Capital Fund, Bridge Investment Fund LP has been instrumental in supporting Israeli companies with innovative technology set up operations in Cleveland. “Bridge works closely with its portfolio companies to address their specific needs to grow in the US market, and we look forward to IceCure opening shop here,” said Michael Goldberg, managing director of the Fund.

IceCure Medical will lease space in GCIC’s 50,000 sq. ft. facility adjacent to the Cleveland Clinic, which provides close proximity to world-class clinical researchers and clinicians along with extensive facility and business support services, according to GCIC Managing Director, Mark Low.

The BioOhio 2010 Growth Report, co-authored by Cleveland State University, showed that since 2000, Ohio’s 1345 bioscience employers have added 10,222 jobs, a 19.5% increase. Northeast Ohio continues to be the state’s hub of bioscience activity, leading in number of locations (714), direct employment (21,427), growth in new companies (189 since 2004), and direct economic output ($14 billion).

TechColumbus Nets Grant from Ohio Third Frontier

TechColumbus has been awarded $321,000 from the Ohio Third Frontier Internship Program. The program is designed to link college students with Ohio for-profit companies that are commercializing new products, technologies, and processes.

“This internship program is extremely valuable for the companies and young professionals involved. It’s a chance for the interns to grow in their chosen professions and see the employment opportunities that are available to them in Ohio,” said James A. Leftwich, Director of the Ohio Department of Development and Chairman of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission.

The program reimburses businesses in targeted industries up to 50 percent of the intern’s wage (no more than $3,000 for a 12-month period). Following an intern’s graduation, firms will have the opportunity to offer full-time employment to the individual, who is well prepared for a future career with the organization.

The Ohio Third Frontier Internship Program targets key areas of science and technology, engineering and math relating to the Ohio Third Frontier’s focus areas of Advanced Materials; Advanced Energy; Biomedical; Instruments, Controls, and Electronics; Advanced Propulsion; and, Information Technology.

Cleveland International Fund Eyes Foreign Investment

The Cleveland International Fund, which has amassed $45 million from 90 investors for the Flats East Bank project, now plans to attract wealthy individuals in China, India, Brazil and other countries to help finance the expansion of University Hospitals.

The hospital system is wrapping up more than $1.2 billion in projects, including a new cancer hospital in Cleveland and a freestanding hospital in Beachwood.

Consultant A. Eddy Zai, who runs the Cleveland International Fund, is betting on foreign investors to boost Northeast Ohio’s economy. In turn, the investors see Zai and his private-equity fund as a path to permanent residency in the United States. Zai would not say how many investors and dollars he hopes to assemble for UH. But in regulatory documents filed this week, the fund allowed for a hospital-related investment of $80 million.

Funding healthcare construction is a way to highlight a growing area of Northeast Ohio’s economy, to create potential international inroads for local companies and to pique the interest of foreign entrepreneurs, said Baiju Shah, a board member at the fund and chief executive of the biomedical-focused BioEnterprise organization.

Established in 2010, the Cleveland International Fund is quickly rising to prominence in a competitive field. In Cuyahoga County, each investor must put up $500,000 and create at least 10 jobs to gain American residency.

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