What is the Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx) and how does it benefit both industry and academia?
The Ohio Innovation Exchange was developed by the Department of Higher Education (ODHE) in 2018 to make it easier for businesses and industry groups to access specific expertise and resources from Ohio universities. OIEx provides a powerful, centralized web portal with access to faculty experts, state-of-the-art university equipment and research support services, in the fields of biomedical, natural and physical sciences; engineering; technology; and mathematics. Previously, people searching for these resources would have to comb through multiple university websites and directories, which could be time-consuming and frustrating.
While the original driver was access for industry, OIEx is also an important networking resource for faculty looking for potential collaborations with other researchers in Ohio. OIEx provides an efficient way for business, industry and universities to find, connect and collaborate.
What is the long-term vision for the Ohio Innovation Exchange?
The vision for OIEx is to enhance access to information and strengthen human networking across sectors — universities, business, government and economic development agencies — to seed partnerships for researchers, expand workforce opportunities for students and foster economic development for industry sectors.
What universities are currently participating in OIEx?
Guided by senior research and technology officials, OIEx is a collaboration of Ohio universities that provides easier access to faculty experts, institutional equipment and research services.
Partner universities include:
- University of Akron
- Case Western Reserve University
- University of Cincinnati
- Cleveland State University
- Ohio University
- Ohio State University
The goal of ODHE and state officials remains focused on positioning OIEx as a resource for showcasing all Ohio universities.
What information is accessible through OIEx?
Honoring our institutional commitment to data privacy, OIEx provides access to information already in the public domain. The OIEx web portal displays three key categories of information, most of which has been provided centrally by your university Office of Information Technology (OIT), guided by the Office of Research and approved by university leadership:
- University Directory Information
Faculty directory information (i.e., name, title, department, college) sourced by OIT from each partner university’s publicly accessible, online directory.
- Faculty Publications, Grants and Intellectual Property
Representative publications of featured faculty pulled in dynamically from third-party databases (e.g., PubMed, Web of Science, CiNii, etc.) and cross-matched to OHIO faculty profiles by OIEx’s technologies, serve as a rich source of data used by the OIEx search engine and a proxy to your research interests and disciplines of expertise. Grants data are dynamically sourced from 600+ worldwide public and private funders, while information detailing patents is drawn from the national patent offices of 11 countries (e.g., US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, etc.).
- Shareable University Equipment, Technologies and Research Services
Information detailing institutional resources, technologies and intellectual properties (i.e., facilities, equipment and instrumentation) provided by the Office of Research that are available for industry and research collaborations on a no-cost or fee-for-service basis.
Are faculty required to participate? What are the expectations?
While faculty are not required to participate, there are numerous benefits associated with involvement in the OIEx initiative. University leadership is committed to the shared inter-institutional vision, goals and strategy realized in the Ohio Innovation Exchange. OIEx promotes your university-based research activities and resources to a larger industry base, making it easier for businesses to find and partner with the state’s leading researchers. By enhancing faculty visibility, OIEx introduces new paths for research funding and creates opportunities for collaboration outside of the traditional university setting.
If you are receptive, responsive and willing to engage industry executives and entrepreneurs looking to develop the next “big idea,” having an OIEx profile is ideal. University research collaborators, experts and resources are often difficult to find for those outside of academia. OIEx helps to overcome some of these traditional barriers.
In the event that you are not willing to share their information in the system, you may choose to opt-out and can use the embedded “Contact us” form to explain your concerns.
Will inquiries be triaged, managed or routed by anyone at Ohio University? Or are visitors to OIEx able to contact faculty directly?
Once an inquiry is received and triaged through the Industry Liaisons, an email is sent to the appropriate faculty or staff from firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the inquiry and the offer of assistance. You, your team and department 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.
How does OIEx promote university collaboration on projects?
Connecting industry with faculty and other university resources, OIEx introduces new pathways for collaboration outside of the traditional university setting. OIEx provides an additional channel for you to raise the visibility of your work, promote its relevance and explore new channels of application.
OIEx showcases university and industry collaborations through a series of featured case studies detailing how cross-sector partners worked together to solve a roadblock or problem, leading to a solution, discovery, or a new product. Case studies and STEM research stories will also be promoted through multiple marketing channels such as social media, brochures and email campaigns.
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. The Chancellor provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly and carries out state higher education policy.
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). OH-TECH acts as the OIEx broker for institutional asset data, provides leadership for the project, supports the intake of critical and relevant data from Ohio’s institutions and supports the secure user profiles.