WOOSTER, Ohio -- BioHio Research Park, an affiliate of The Ohio State University, has received a $71,321 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to develop a master plan for the expansion of this innovation and economic growth initiative in northeast Ohio.
Located on the Wooster campus of Ohio State's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), BioHio Research Park is a first-in-the-state business and technology center aimed at linking Ohio State scientists with business and industry partners interested in the growing and promising field of agricultural biosciences -- which includes high-impact areas such as renewable energy and materials, food safety and security, genetic crop improvement, and environmental remediation.
OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
"The EDA planning grant funding validates the importance of the BioHio Research Park to the region, as does the support we have received from NEFCO (the Northeast Ohio Four County Economic Development region), the city of Wooster and Wayne County," said Shauna Brummet, president and CEO of BioHio Research Park.
"It represents critical funding to initiate the development of BioHio on the campus of OARDC."
Today, BioHio Research Park offers space for companies at its Pounden Hall Innovation Center, an OARDC campus building that was renovated in 2010 through a $744,000 U.S. Department of Commerce grant and $1.2 million in local matches.
The park's main 95-acre site (adjacent to the OARDC campus) has also been enhanced with an improved access road, job-ready site preparation and utilities thanks to a $3.1 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development and $3.4 million in matching funds from utilities and the city of Wooster.
BioHio Research Park’s first tenant is quasar energy, a Cleveland-based renewable energy and fuel company that set up its engineering office in Pounden Hall and built its flagship anaerobic digester (which produces biogas from food waste) on the park's main site.
A few other companies are also located in Pounden Hall, while BioHio Research Park is currently working with various enterprises from the greenhouse crop production, biofuels and food animal health fields on startup and development activities in the park.
Brummet said BioHio Research Park has now selected lead consultants to develop its master plan. They are Miller/Watson Architects, MKSK (landscape architecture) and Korda Engineering, all based in Columbus, Ohio. A kickoff meeting was held Oct. 10 with representatives from BioHio, OARDC and the city of Wooster.
Next, Brummet said, BioHio Research Park will hold a visioning workshop in mid-November where OARDC faculty, staff and students as well as community leaders, business stakeholders, city and county government officials, and other interested parties will participate in developing the master plan.
"We are so excited to formally launch the planning effort that will lead to the physical presence of the BioHio Research Park, which will bring companies and jobs to the Wooster region and support the eminence of The Ohio State University in the agbiosciences sector," Brummet said.
For more information about BioHio Research Park, visit http://biohioresearchpark.org.