United States: Jobsohio Launches New R&D Grant Program

The JobsOhio Board of Directors recently has approved a Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program to provide support to R&D centers in Ohio.1 The purpose of the program is to support the development and commercialization of emerging technologies through strategic corporate R&D centers to ultimately drive job creation within the state.

JobsOhio Corporation

JobsOhio is a private, non-profit corporation formed under Governor John Kasich in 2011 to lead Ohio's job-creation efforts. The governor formed JobsOhio to promote economic development, job creation, job retention, job training and the recruitment of businesses to the state of Ohio.2 As the lead economic development arm for the state, JobsOhio was developed using a private-sector approach to allow JobsOhio to work at the speed of a business, which the state believed would make it more competitive in its economic development efforts. The corporation is funded by bonds backed by future liquor sales as part of an exclusive franchise agreement with the state. JobsOhio focuses on nine key target industries to grow the state's economy. As part of its responsibilities, JobsOhio has the ability to create and fund new programs to facilitate economic development and encourage the growth of industry in Ohio.

R&D Grant Program Summary

In an effort to facilitate R&D facilities in Ohio and ultimately spur innovation and job growth, JobsOhio created the R&D Grant Program to cover a portion of costs related to new R&D facilities over a period of five years. The grant may provide funding for qualified research expenses and satisfy operational, equipment or facility needs related to industry-driven, value-added applied research, software development and developing technologies that can be commercialized. The availability and the amount of the grant is negotiated with JobsOhio and may be used to cover the costs listed above. No project specific funding limits are set at this time, but the program is initially funded with $50 million to assist companies in the commercialization of new products and the development of new or expanded production facilities which result in new jobs. If a grant recipient is successful in commercializing a product or service, which increases production and requires a new or expanded location, JobsOhio will require notification prior to the decision in order to present site alternatives. The grant recipient will not be required to locate in one of the sites presented by JobsOhio.3

Program Eligibility Requirements

JobsOhio designed the R&D Grant Program to be accessible to middle-market companies that are within the targeted sectors outlined by JobsOhio.45 Award decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and several project factors are considered, including job creation, new payroll, project location and alignment with JobsOhio sector strategies. If a company meets the basic eligibility factors described below, it is eligible to request funds from the program. Eligible projects must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicant has been in operation for at least five years;
  • Applicant has annual revenue that exceeds $10 million;
  • At least five new jobs are created by each project; and
  • At least $3 million in new cash is invested in each project by a for-profit company or non-profit institute.6

Grant funds must be used for activities that occur in Ohio and any equipment purchased using R&D grant funds must remain in Ohio throughout its useful life. Funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis and applied first to fixed assets. Recipients will be required to submit regular status reports detailing the project's economic impact on Ohio and the overall progress of the project.7

Commentary

New R&D facilities can be a costly undertaking, but are essential to the expansion of many businesses. With the creation of the R&D Grant Program, JobsOhio intends to lessen the financial burden of these projects in Ohio and improve the business case for locating centers for innovation and the commercialization of emerging technologies in the state. A company in one of the defined target industries that may locate, consolidate or relocate an R&D facility in Ohio should consider submitting an application for the program. As mentioned above, the availability and amount of the R&D Grant Program is completely negotiated with JobsOhio. As a result, the financial impact of the assistance will vary from project to project. Further, because the program is new, benchmarking on previous awards is not available at this time.

Footnotes

1 Research & Development Grant Program Summary, JobsOhio. This is available at www.jobs-ohio.com.

2 OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 187.01; What Is JobsOhio?, Office of Ohio Governor. This document is available at governor.ohio.gov/Portals/0/pdf/JobsOhio_Overview_Final.pdf.

3 Research & Development Grant Program Summary, JobsOhio.

4 Andrew Doyle, Introducing the JobsOhio Research & Development Grant Program, THE JOBSOHIO BLOG, Aug. 22, 2016.

5 JobsOhio targeted industries include the following: advanced manufacturing, aerospace & aviation, automotive, bio health, financial services, food processing, information technology, logistics & distribution, and shale energy & petrochemicals.

6 Research & Development Grant Program Summary, JobsOhio. 3 Research & Development Grant Program Summary, JobsOhio. 4 Andrew Doyle, Introducing the JobsOhio Research & Development Grant Program, THE JOBSOHIO BLOG, Aug. 22, 2016. 5 JobsOhio targeted industries include the following: advanced manufacturing, aerospace & aviation, automotive, bio health, financial services, food processing, information technology, logistics & distribution, and shale energy & petrochemicals. 6 Research & Development Grant Program Summary, JobsOhio. 7 Id.

7 Id.

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