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Third Frontier Funding To Run Out Soon, But No Plans For Replacement

The audience at last summer’s Third Frontier Commission event where a dozen finalists were each awarded $200,000 in the Opioid Technology Challenge, which seeks high-tech ideas for fighting the opioid crisis. Overall winners will be announced this summer.
Karen Kasler
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The audience at last summer’s Third Frontier Commission event where a dozen finalists were each awarded $200,000 in the Opioid Technology Challenge, which seeks high-tech ideas for fighting the opioid crisis. Overall winners will be announced this summer.";

The fund that the state has used to offer more than a billion dollars for high tech research and development projects since voters approved it in 2005 is running out of money. And there are no announced plans to shore up the Third Frontier program. And some are raising their voices to support it.

Economic development organizations and business groups are advocating for the Third Frontier, which only has about $180 million left from its last bond issue. Alesha Washington at the Greater Cleveland Partnership says it’s time to look at it….

“Because the last administration did not prioritize it is something to potentially think about reauthorizing.”

And Washington says the DeWine administration can always change the name.

“But I think the intent of that type of investment and building the innovative economy that fills in the gaps and where we missed out in the first year of this needs to be a focus.”

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted has the Third Frontier may not be able to sustain itself for much longer, but as head of the newly created InnovateOhio office, he hasn’t indicated what might replace it if it closes down.

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