Merging the innovations of Ohio’s universities and colleges with the private sector isn’t just a priority — it’s the way to build the economy of the future.
That sentiment was shared during a meeting of the state’s Commercialization Task Force on Wednesday at the University of Toledo. The task force met to highlight the findings of The Fifth Report on The Condition of Higher Education in Ohio: Advancing Ohio’s Innovation Economy.
The report was prepared for the Ohio Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s colleges and universities.
The report examined ways to close the gaps between collegiate research and state businesses. Its findings recommended removing barriers; building statewide and regional ecosystems; promoting greater statewide and regional collaboration; creating an entrepreneurial environment; cooperation among researchers; generating capital resources; planning for more work force and job training and education, and defining a metric of success.
“Both industry and higher education meet well,” said Vinod Gupta, a businessman and member of the Ohio Board of Regents who was one of the panelists.
The biggest problem between the two entities is they don’t often understand each other’s needs, he said. Establishing a way to overcome that disconnect will enhance the economy, Mr. Gupta said.
Ensuring Ohio’s students finish their degrees also must be a priority for colleges and universities, University of Toledo President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs said. That will increase the capabilities of the state’s work force, he said.
Higher education also must shift its focus beyond educating students, Dr. Jacobs said. Colleges and universities must take their innovations and research and use them to bolster the business climate in Ohio. That can be accomplished through partnerships and increased communication, he said.
The report that was discussed Wednesday builds on that philosophy. Mr. Gupta said the goal is to implement half of the report’s recommendations within a year.
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