The Ohio Innovation Exchange Ecosystem


The Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx) connects businesses and industry with professors, equipment and facilities available at Ohio research universities. By providing access to thousands of faculty and resources from campuses and laboratories across the state, OIEx fosters economic development and intellectual advancement across Ohio and the globe.

OIEx is an initiative of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, developed in collaboration with Ohio universities with industry support from the Ohio Manufacturing Institute.


Early phases focused on developing extensible data-sharing strategies and methods that enable the collection of basic faculty and shareable resources data from Ohio colleges and universities.  Partner universities are asked to provide the following data for inclusion in OIEx.

  • Faculty directory information (i.e., name, title, department, college, contact.)
  • Institutional resources, technologies, and supporting services  (i.e., facilities, equipment, and instrumentation) that are available for inter-institutional research collaborations on a no-cost or fee-for-service basis.

The data specifications for university-provided data are detailed with core data services provided by the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH), an operational extension of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. 


The path from ideation to deployment of a single knowledge management solution that could showcase multiple universities required a dynamic, flexible, and scalable data strategy and technology solution which recognizes the landscape of information management systems already in place and funded by universities across Ohio.  The complex technical underpinnings of OIEx consists of tightly integrated systems through which OIEx data is sourced, enriched, and published. 

Digital Science and Research Solutions, Inc. was selected through a competitive Request for Proposals that drew responses from leading Web technology vendors.  Digital Science is a technology company serving the needs of scientific and research communities at key points along the full cycle of research. It invests in and incubates research software companies that simplify the research cycle, making more time for discovery. Its portfolio companies include a host of leading brands including Altmetric, BioRAFT, Figshare, Labguru, Overleaf, ReadCube, GRID, Symplectic and ÜberResearch. Digital Science is operated by global media company the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. 

As illustrated in this adapted vendor diagram, (see pp 16-17) OIEx is powered by Symplectic Elements, a product offering of Digital Science, a scalable, state-of-the-art technology solution that can auto-harvest publication citations, grant information and patent details from an extensive collection of databases.  

Symplectic Elements powers OIEx

Working in partnership with the Symplectic team, the OIEx team continues to explore, test and deploy new features and functionality that enhance discovery and the user experience. Efforts are underway to explore next generation search, enhanced reporting, data visualization, and product support for the growing community.

OIEx continues to distinguish itself as a premier, multi-university knowledge management strategy and system that many seek to emulate.


A distributed team of industry liaison professionals from each of the partner university is connected with OIEx. Once an inquiry is received and triaged, an email is sent to the appropriate faculty or staff from with details of the inquiry and the offer of assistance. 

Those seeking assistance will work directly with the business or industry group and other university partners to assess interest, scope of work and project details. The OIEx Industry Liaisons will continue to be available to facilitate communication when necessary.  Please complete and submit your industry request and relevant information to begin the process.