Cleveland Innovation District: Our Opportunity

To the Case Western Reserve Community:

Last year, representatives of Case Western Reserve, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University, MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals began meeting regarding JobsOhio’s plan to locate the state’s second urban innovation district in Cleveland (the first, in Cincinnati, launched in March).

Through conversations with one another, within our respective organizations, and with JobsOhio, we identified complementary institutional strengths and refined individual focus areas. And, as many of you may have read, Cleveland Clinic was able to commit $300 million of its own funding toward a building and related aspects of its global pathogen research center.

The Cleveland Innovation District that Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Monday is unprecedented and transformational—it catalyzed the first major collaboration among Northeast Ohio’s leading health care and higher education institutions.

Now, our collective challenge is to capitalize on the potential it offers our region and respective organizations. 

Over the next decade, our joint efforts are projected to contribute to 20,000 new jobs, $3 billion in research activity, and another $3 billion in economic impact. If we succeed, Northeast Ohio will take its place among the nation’s preeminent hubs for health care and biomedical research.

At Case Western Reserve, we will concentrate on advancing our expertise in areas that include but are not limited to artificial intelligence, big data, and drug development, with a particular emphasis on their implications for cancer, infectious diseases, neurological disorders and cardiac issues. Our next steps are to finalize our agreement with JobsOhio, and develop frameworks for allocating resources for research and commercialization within the university. We look forward to sharing additional details as they become available.

Finally, I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone on our campus involved in this process to date—as well as those at each of our partner institutions, JobsOhio and the State of Ohio. We are deeply grateful for this opportunity.

Scott Cowen
Interim President