Health-Tech | High-Tech Industries
Cleveland is a rich hub for innovation
Cleveland’s 21st Century economic and employment environment builds on the city's rich industrial and entrepreneurial heritage. Many of Cleveland's strengths can be referred to as a "health-tech/high-tech" ecosystem that's driven by health care, technology and advanced manufacturing.
Cleveland's health care industry has always had a strong presence in the region. The city has the most concentrated area of hospitals and medical research centers in the nation. Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals alone are the city's largest employers with a combined workforce of more than 46,000. Cleveland Clinic's main campus is essentially a city within itself, requiring its own zip code, and their physical expansion shows no signs of slowing down.
In particular, Cleveland Clinic is capitalizing on IBM's latest development, IBM Watson Health. It is a cognitive system enabling a new partnership between people and computers as health care becomes more technology-dependent.
To build upon the health care industry, a 1,600-acre HealthTech Corridor was established with startups in anticipation of Cleveland's next phase of growth.
Advances in technology are changing the way people work, driving innovation and ultimately creating more jobs and opportunities for growth through startups.
Take, for example, many of the fledging businesses housed at StartMart, a 50,000-square-foot office space in Cleveland's Terminal Tower, or 75 miles east at the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI).
YBI, ranked No. 1 University Associated Incubator by UBI Global in 2014, and StartMart are just two of the region's 14 incubators and accelerators.
Technology startups in Ohio can also access support and funding through the Ohio Third Frontier Program, which partners in a 50-50 match with institutional and private philanthropic organizations. “Third Frontier provides an average of $40 million in resources every year across the region,” says Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart. "That's money that's in place just to start and grow their businesses and advance university research and commercialization.”
Cleveland's manufacturing past started with John D. Rockefeller founding Standard Oil of Ohio in 1870. That success has continued to be present in Cleveland, but has evolved in recent years to occupy other sectors, including advanced manufacturing.
For example, just an hour south of Cleveland, Akron has long been a leader in the polymer industry with Parker Hannifin Corporation's early developments of the thermoplastic hose. Building on these developments in polymer technology, the University of Akron's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering initiates ongoing research leading to commercialization of new products.
Also, NASA's Glenn Research Center has made a national impact over the years. The center's areas of specialty include propulsion systems, communications technologies and creating new materials that can stand up to extreme conditions. Today, it's taking the lead on a project to develop a hybrid-electric airplane.