Ohio Third Frontier Loans

The Third Frontier Project was initiated in February 2002. This project is the state's largest-ever commitment to expanding Ohio's high-tech research capabilities and promoting innovation and company formation that will create high-paying jobs for generations to come. The 10-year, $1.6 billion initiative is designed to:
• Build world-class research capacity
• Support early stage capital formation and the development of new products
• Finance advanced manufacturing technologies to help existing industries become more productive

Through the Third Frontier Project and related initiatives, the state of Ohio offers a comprehensive set of programs that support world-class research, commercialization, training, and information technology infrastructure designed to accelerate company growth and job creation throughout Ohio. 

The Ohio Third Frontier Program supports a comprehensive portfolio of program activities that include:

Wright Centers of Innovation: The goal of the Wright Centers of Innovation (WCI) Program is to support large-scale world-class research and technology development platforms designed to accelerate the pace of Ohio commercialization. Wright Centers are to be collaborations among Ohio higher education institutions, non-profit research organizations, and Ohio companies. The specific technology/research focus areas of WCIs represent areas of competitive differentiation that are unique and sustainable thus making them difficult to imitate and overcome by others. The WCI Program supports the acquisition of major capital assets to establish the center and initial operating funds for projects and services offered by the center.

Research and Commercialization Program: The goal of the Research Commercialization Program (RCP) is to support the development and commercialization of innovative technologies and new products that will have beneficial long-term economic impacts for Ohio. RCP projects are of a substantial scale and consistent high quality that will move Ohio toward a position of national leadership in selected areas of technological focus. The RCP provides support to any Ohio based organization to conduct applied research and development related to themes that have the potential for creating new products, and to build sustainable partnerships between organizations that can develop and commercialize new products.

Wright Projects: to support near term commercialization projects requiring major capital acquisitions and improvements at Ohio higher education institutions and nonprofit research organizations with a secondary benefit to support technical workforce training.

Ohio Research Scholars: The goal of the Ohio Research Scholars Program (ORSP) is to strengthen and increase the number of clusters of research excellence led by Ohio's academic institutions that support regional economic priorities. The ORSP achieves this through 1) aggressive investment in the attraction of senior research talent and related facilities and equipment, and 2) promotion of unique collaborations with non-profit and for-profit research and commercialization partners needed to build and sustain scientifically and commercially promising lines of research. A research cluster is defined by a critical mass of distinguished and highly productive faculty and researchers, quality graduate students, infrastructure, and robust academic, business and government collaborations that have led to the attainment of international prominence in research and commercialization. The resources of a cluster must be aligned to pursue a specific technology/research focus area representing areas of competitive differentiation that are unique and sustainable thus making them difficult to imitate and overcome by others. The ORSP supports the creation of endowed positions for senior faculty and the acquisition of facilities and equipment that generally support the growth of defined research clusters.

Pre-Seed Funds: to increase the availability of professionally managed capital and associated services to accelerate the growth of early-stage Ohio technology companies.

Entrepreneurial Signature Program: Provides grants which significantly increase technology-based entrepreneurial commercialization outcomes in six defined geographic regions and to focus on technology based sectors offering important economic development prospects for that region.

Fuel Cell and Advanced Energy Programs: to support R&D that addresses the technical and cost barriers to commercialization in Ohio of fuel cell and other advanced energy components and systems.

Ohio Research Commercialization Grant Program: to support accelerated Ohio commercialization by small companies awarded selected federal R&D funding.

Internship Program: The goal of the Ohio Third Frontier Internship Program is to develop a pool of talented workers for Ohio's businesses, create enriching student work experiences and assist students in obtaining permanent full-time employment in Ohio after graduation. This dynamic, focused program positions Ohio to develop and retain technologies in the state that require educated and skilled workers.

Targeted Industry Attraction Program: to focus resources and incentives on the attraction of companies that can help build critical mass in selected growth industries in Ohio.

Innovation Ohio Loan Fund: to assist Ohio companies in developing next generation products and services in targeted industry sectors by financing the acquisition, construction, and related costs of technology, facilities, and equipment.