Innovation District

Where people connect and innovations converge to improve lives

Imagine a prosperous environment dedicated to turning big ideas into reality, right here in Columbus.

The Innovation District will be a collaborative space on the west campus of Ohio State where hundreds of students, academic researchers, city leaders, Fortune 500 businesses and new start-ups — just steps away from each other — have the potential to share promising new ideas and accelerate, turning those ideas into solutions.

The Innovation District is where people will work to understand and solve the problems that seem insurmountable — from addiction to cancer to climate change. It’s where thinkers and doers — from Ohio State, from private industry and from the surrounding communities — will work together to find pragmatic solutions that fuel a more optimistic future and improve people’s lives.

Through the Innovation District, Ohio State and the city of Columbus will shape Ohio’s future economy. Together, we will build vibrant futures for businesses and communities alike.

Finding and sharing solutions with the potential to transform our region

What if we discovered a way to power our cities with clean, renewable energy? What if we could reimagine how people get from one place to another — and redefine mobility as smart mobility, “greener,” safer and more convenient? What if we could create all-encompassing solutions that help families conquer addiction and its fallout — medical, psychological, legal and economic?

Ohio State’s innovation district is the place where thinkers and doers will converge to solve complex challenges, where new fields of study emerge and the convergence of ideas will help anticipate problems before they become problems.

Together, we will remove the barriers that stand in the way of progress — sustainable energy, earlier disease detection, faster drug development and things not yet imagined — so people and communities in Ohio and around the world can thrive.

Engineering new solutions to cancer treatment

Ohio State researchers and engineers are working together to discover and develop new ways to diagnose and treat cancer. This revolutionary space brings engineers together with clinicians to unravel the mysteries of how cancer cells move, grow, divide and interact with their surroundings.

Together, Ohio State experts are engineering nanoparticles that can kill cancer cells and creating technology to deliver drug therapies to hard-to-reach places, such as the brain or deep within tumors. Innovative teams are designing simulation technologies so that drug therapy candidates have the potential to be tested and screened entirely on computers.

The Innovation District is a place for all kinds of thinkers. Together, these visionaries will tackle challenges too big to be solved by single fields of study.

Helping communities conquer addiction, one family at a time

The opioid crisis has hit Ohio harder than almost any other state. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise. Nearly 1 in 5 Ohioans reports dangerous binge-drinking behavior.

Our families and communities need help — solutions that expand access to medical and psychological care; help relieve the pressure on our legal system and social service needs; and prevent our children from becoming addicted in the first place. Solutions that will help communities tackle not only opioid addiction, but anticipate the next potential wave of addiction before it becomes a crisis.

The Innovation District will convene a synergy of thinkers — visionaries who specialize in law, medicine, social work, public policy, public health, pharmacy and labor and the economy. Together, they will develop evidence-based solutions — and empower communities to tailor these broad-reaching ideas to meet their specific needs.

Converging innovation, technology and business to quickly bring smart energy to market

Imagine a rich array of clean, affordable energy options. Imagine cars that don’t need to be refueled or recharged. Imagine heating and cooling your home or business with renewable energy that is carbon neutral. Imagine businesses that don’t have to choose between being profitable and adopting sustainability solutions.

The Energy Advancement and Innovation Center will serve as a hub for Ohio State faculty members, students, alumni, ENGIE researchers, local entrepreneurs and industry experts to work together on the next generation of smart energy systems, renewable energy and green mobility solutions. The project is a cornerstone of the university’s public-private partnership with Ohio State Energy (OSEP), which has committed $50 million for the project, including $38.5 million for building design and construction costs.

Together, we will advance sustainable energy solutions that power central Ohio and fuel vibrant futures around the globe.

Harnessing the power of the body’s own immune system

Ohio State cancer immunologists have found ways for the human body to heal itself of cancer — similar to how it heals broken bones and other wounds. Cancer immunotherapy is safer and less toxic than traditional chemotherapy and radiation — and less invasive than surgery. But today, it’s effective in treating only 20% of cancers.

At Ohio State’s Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-oncology, researchers are developing cancer-targeting immunotherapies at the molecular level so that the body’s own immune system can fight cancer — taking personalized cancer treatment to a new level.

They are connecting big data and machine learning to cancer biology to further understand how individual cancer cells react to therapies. The result: more personalized cancer care and faster development of promising new medicines.

The Innovation District is a place for all kinds of thinkers. Together, these visionaries will tackle challenges too big to be solved by single fields of study.

Learn more about key dates, schedules, news and building timelines.

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