Universities and Ohio's Innovation Ecosystem


The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) is a Cabinet-level agency for the Governor of the State of Ohio that oversees higher education for the state. The ODHE Chancellor advises the Governor on higher education policy and implements the Administration’s plan to make college more affordable for Ohioans and drive the state’s economic advancement through the public universities and colleges of Ohio, the state’s network of public universities, regional campuses, community colleges, and adult workforce and adult education centers.

Universities across Ohio

Charged by then-Ohio Governor John Kasich and commissioned by former ODHE Chancellor John Carey, the Sixth Report on the Condition of Higher Education in Ohio (2013) authored by thought leaders from state government, industry, and higher education detailed a set of actionable recommendations to serve as “... a roadmap for how Ohio (could) position itself to compete and lead in a global innovation economy.”  

Informed by the 2013 Report, the Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx) was conceived as a modern knowledge management solution to improve visibility of university experts, assets, and shareable resources.

A study was subsequently commissioned exploring best practices for developing a scalable Web-based strategy and solution to showcase university assets.  Led by economist Iryna Lendel, PhD, then from the Center for Economic Development at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, the 2016 Lendel study examined academic literature concerning university-industry relationships, applied and technical reports provided by relevant web portals, and extensive interviews with selected portals’ managing teams. The insights gleaned from this environmental scan guided the work of a distributed network of research, information, library, and technology professionals volunteering time, expertise, and input to this multi-university collaboration. 


From ideation in 2015, through launch in 2018, and its expansion to include 10 partner universities by 2023, OIEx has achieved a number of laudable milestones:

  • Ohio partner universities participating in OIEx has expanded from 4 to 10 and growing.
  • Over 11,000 faculty experts are now profiled and accessible in OIEx.
  • Over 2,300 shareable research-enabling services, support, and equipment are featured.
  • Increasing monthly page views totaling more than 20,000 from all over the world.
  • Active social media promotion of OIEx, university experts, innovations and related research news has attracted the attention of more than 2,000 followers.
  • A series of OIEx-sponsored webinars hosted in partnership with the Intel Corporation and OhioX has drawn an online audience of over 500 participants from a wide range of economic sectors.
  • OIEx has been recognized as a premier statewide knowledge management approach focused on bolstering cross sector collaborations making it easier for industry professionals to find university experts and shareable resources.
  • Engaged partnership with a state-of-the-art technology platform. OIEx continues to add new features and functionality to enhance the user experience.


The OIEx is one of several tools to facilitate collaboration and build higher education and industry partnerships. Examples of these partnerships include, but are not limited to:

  • Connecting expertise to companies seeking to expand their research and development efforts.
  • Providing expertise and potential collaborators for companies seeking government funding from SBIR/STTR grant mechanisms.
  • Emerging and established companies seeking guidance on business plans, talent and workforce development strategies, and industry sponsored research.
  • Identifying shared research resources to expedite research projects and expand capabilities.
  • Establishing experiential learning, e.g., internships, coops, mentoring, and capstone projects.
  • Providing access to licensable IP from all colleges and universities in Ohio to drive innovation.


As a premier source of information detailing the experts and resources found within Ohio's universities, OIEx is positioned as an early phase discovery tool for those looking for specific expertise and state-of-the-art supporting services and technologies.  Such discovery helps seed networks of networks empowering cross-sector collaborations across Ohio's world-class research universities, federal and state partners, private industry, trade associations, and NGOs.

OIEx and the Innovation Ecosystem2

Advancing technologies, growing awareness, and scalable efficiencies continue to position OIEx as a premier statewide resource for those organizations across multiple sectors charting the future of Ohio's knowledge economy.


OIEx is one of many efforts Ohio has invested in to advance the State's economy. 

JobsOhio, the state's unique private economic development corporation, acts as a catalyst for high-growth business investments and job creation. JobsOhio is a first-of-its-kind, state-authorized, nonprofit built with private stable financial resources, seasoned professionals with private sector expertise, a statewide network of economic development partners, and the long-term investment outlook needed to attract, retain, and expand businesses, payrolls, and career opportunities across the state.

Ohio Economic Development Regions Image

JobsOhio represents the state of Ohio to the world of investors with industry-specific expertise, across a wide range of industry sectors

The JobsOhio regional network is comprised of seven economic development partners. Each region's unique strengths, urban vs rural perspective, and experience come together to strategically serve companies in Ohio.

Investor Startup Studios, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Organizations 

Ohio offers a range of services and support for entrepreneurs and growing businesses. We've listed some of those organization here.