Bioscience is a wide and continuously evolving field that requires an effective balance of regulation, demand, new technology and rising costs. There is high demand for novel products to improve outcomes while cutting costs. The bioscience cluster helps maximize commercial success in areas such as medical imaging, medical devices, medical delivery systems, pharmaceuticals, bioengineering, biomaterials and industrial/environmental biosciences.
In Northwest Ohio, bioscience has developed into a fast-growing cluster providing great potential in the creation of new businesses, high-paying jobs and diversity in the number of industries it impacts. Existing companies have provided the foundation for future industry growth.
There are 145 biotechnology companies currently operating in the 17-county region of Northwest Ohio. These companies employ nearly 3,300 people with an average salary of $44,300 a year. The primary subsectors for the Northwest Ohio bioscience industry include:
- Medical devices and equipment manufacturers
- Medical and testing laboratories
- Agricultural biotechnology
- Research and development
- Pharmaceuticals and therapeutics
The Northwest Ohio Region offers a strong association of health care systems and hospitals. Many of the physicians at these institutions are very inventive and bring an entrepreneurial mindset in looking to commercialize their ideas in the marketplace. These health care institutions include:
Research and the creation of new knowledge is one of the primary areas of focus at the University of Toledo. External research funding at UT reached more than $75 million in 2010.
The University of Toledo Center of Excellence in Translational Health and Bioscience is a new endeavor within the BRIM Center, recognized by the Ohio Board of Regents in 2009. UT currently has eleven demonstrated candidate biomarkers discovered by UT investigators, which provide excellent substrate for further validation, development and subsequent commercialization into the Ohio economic base. In the backdrop of a strong culture of entrepreneurship and collaboration, the BRIM Center is poised to continue to extend the number of bioscience spin-offs. from the current eight (four of which are biomarker focused). The BRIM Center will continue to build a robust bioscience cluster and stimulate further economic development, boost programmatic growth of regional biotech/pharmaceutical industry, and create new high-tech job opportunities in Ohio.
The University of Toledo also offers the region’s only academic medical center. The UT Medical Center is a Level One trauma center which also has a formal relationship with Promedica for medical students to obtain clinical experience under the guidance of Promedica physicians.
Rocket Ventures, LLC
Rocket Ventures is a pre-seed early-stage venture fund focused on technology-based start-up companies in Northwest Ohio. With more than $22 million of public and private investment, Rocket Ventures identifies and invests in early-stage companies that have strong potential in the marketplace, solid prospects for high growth, and are likely to qualify for later-stage funding.
Rocket Ventures LLC is a joint venture created through the Regional Growth Partnership and the University.of Toledo Innovation Enterprises (UT-IE). The venture brings together the skill sets, talent and management expertise from Rocket Ventures with the University’s infrastructure assets, particularly the on-campus technology incubators. The University also includes a very sophisticated technology transfer program.
Rocket Ventures’ targets startups and early-stage companies that have strong potential to become high-growth businesses. They must be headquartered in or willing to move to one of Northwest Ohio’s 18 counties. Rocket Ventures considers a company to be early-stage if it has $0 to $5 million in current revenues and fewer than 30 employees. High-growth means that the company can reach $30 to $50 million in revenues within five to seven years.