Ohio Program Creates Model Initiative For Economic Growth, Jobs

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

NineSigma, Inc., of Cleveland, OH is acknowledging the success of its participation in the Ohio Third Frontier Open Innovation Incentive (OII) Program halfway through the two-year program. NineSigma clients who engaged in the OII program estimate the program will lead to the creation of 70 new jobs in areas including sales, administration and manufacturing.

The OII program is designed to empower organizations to find and collaborate with companies, academic research centers and inventors beyond their organizations and their industries in order to tap new technologies. This helps them reduce research and development costs, bring innovative products to market more quickly and move ahead of competitors from around the world.

Last year, NineSigma received a $2 million grant from the Ohio Third Frontier to make it easier for local mid-market companies to leverage its services. The goal of the program is to foster corporate growth that sparks additional job creation within the state.

So far, 18 companies have signed on to the program, and 25 projects have been initiated as a result. These companies represent diverse industries including aerospace & defense, automotive & transportation, building and construction, consumer products, chemicals and materials, food and beverage and manufacturing.

“The world is a big place and no one company has connections to the entire world,” said Paul Bizzarri, vice president of Innovation, TimberTech.  “However, NineSigma and the open innovation process provide an excellent structure for casting an opportunity or problem more effectively into that world-wide marketplace.”

NineSigma CEO Andy Zynga said, “By funding half of the costs of engaging an open innovation intermediary, the State of Ohio is tangibly supporting middle market companies in a way that will benefit the entire state. We see this as a successful model for other states to adopt in their efforts to boost their own economic vitality and foster long-term job growth.”