Industry FAQs

What is the Ohio Innovation Exchange?

The Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx) provides a powerful, centralized web portal that makes it easier for professionals seeking industry-specific expertise and resources from Ohio universities. Our portal offers access to more than 10,000 faculty and 1000 pieces of research equipment and supporting lab services.

The Ohio Innovation Exchange:

  • Connects industry and business with faculty research expertise, e.g., access to publications, grants, marketable innovations, social media content

  • Provides direct access to research faculty through email or through a team of university liaisons that provides guidance and triage of inquiries

  • Enhances access to available research equipment/instrumentation and services from campuses and laboratories around the state

  • Fosters research partnerships; connects intellectual property and technology licensing opportunities

What challenges does OIEx help solve for industry organizations and individual businesses?
For industry organizations:

OIEx gives you access to university expertise and resources as you assist your network of companies with their research, equipment or service needs. OIEx also enables you to share information about university assets with prospective entrepreneurs looking to start businesses or companies wanting to locate in Ohio. You can learn what faculty experts are doing in manufacturing, biomedicine, technology and more that can benefit your industry clients. Ohio universities are powerhouses in research and innovation, and OIEx provides a centralized portal to access all they have to offer new and existing businesses.

For individual businesses:

OIEx can be a place for your R&D or process/product professionals to find solutions to their challenges, ranging from testing new concepts to collaborating on SBIR and STTR federal agency R&D applications. You can search with customized tags to find research information specific to your needs, as well as information about university patents and intellectual property. If you don’t know where to start or exactly how to search, contact us to connect with our Industry Liaison team who will help guide you where you need to go.

How does OIEx benefit both industry and academia?

Increasingly, tech, medical, manufacturing and other companies need research, intellectual property and technology licensing opportunities to plan and produce their products or offer the services that their customers need.

OIEx provides access to faculty expertise, patents and grants in these areas:

  • Biomedical sciences
  • Natural and physical sciences
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Mathematics

OIEx also offers information about advanced equipment and services that small- to mid-size companies may not own or lack access to. What’s more, university faculty can steer you to a rich source of great employees through student internships and capstone research projects.

For STEM and medical faculty, partnering with industry is a way to focus their research to meet real-world needs. Business and industry can shape academic research and faculty researchers can shape products and services. These collaborations inform teaching, and students working with industry professionals is a remarkable way to provide hands-on learning.

What universities participate in OIEx?

Ohio’s universities are committed to developing industry partnerships. Our current universities partners include the following:

  • University of Akron
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cleveland State University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • The Ohio State University
  • Ohio University

Our long-term goal is to include all Ohio universities and community colleges as part of the web portal.

I’m looking to collaborate with an Ohio university on a specific area of research (or with a specific professor). How can I most effectively search the database?

The OIEx web portal utilizes customized tags to make your search easier.

If you’re looking for a specific researcher, enter their name to go directly to their profile and research information, including their biographical information, research publications, mentions on social media, grants, Ohio collaborators and patents, as well as their level of experience in working with industry. You’ll also find their email address in case you want to contact them directly.

If you’re looking for a specific area of research (for example, genomics or artificial intelligence), type it in the search bar to see a list of faculty at our partner universities that work in that area.

If you have other questions, contact us to be connected to a form that is sent directly to our Industry Liaison team. We’ll provide any assistance you need.

I’m not sure where to start to find help with my company’s particular challenges. How do I get assistance?

Send a request through Contact Us, outline your needs and geographical information (if appropriate). Your request will be triaged by Industry Liaisons at our partner universities to help you solve your problem. Once an OIEx inquiry is received and triaged, you will receive suggestions for the right individual, team or department at the appropriate university and you can contact them directly. The Industry Liaisons will continue to be available to facilitate communications if needed.

I need access to some state-of-the-art equipment that my small company doesn’t own. How can I find these resources at Ohio universities?

Our partner universities offer equipment, instrumentation and facilities that may be available for industry and research collaborations on a no-cost or fee-for-service basis. We can help you find equipment ranging from electron microscopes and robotic systems to supercomputers and clean rooms, and much more. To find equipment on our portal, either type in the specific equipment you need or a general category. You can also sort by university in case you want to stay in a certain geographical area of Ohio. If you need assistance, please contact our Industry Liaison team.

I need help with a project and I think one of Ohio’s universities could provide the service for me. Can I find university services on OIEx?

Yes. You can find university services ranging from biological tissue processing to experimental study design to engineering services and consulting, plus much more, on a fee-for-service basis. We can also help connect you with intellectual property and technology licensing opportunities. If you don’t find what you need on the portal, please contact us and let us know how you need help. Our University Liaison team will put you in touch with appropriate people at our partner universities.

Who sponsors and supports OIEx?

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) is the primary sponsor of OIEx, accompanied by strong industry support through the Ohio Manufacturing Institute. ODHE coordinates higher education in Ohio under the direction of its Chancellor, a member of the Governor of Ohio's cabinet.

Leveraging Ohio’s sustained investment in statewide technology infrastructure organizations, the data and technology underpinnings of OIEx are supported by the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH), an umbrella organization that includes the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK).