Cleveland Innovation Project
The Cleveland Innovation Project — an alliance of the Cleveland Foundation, Fund For Our Economic Future, Greater Cleveland Partnership, JumpStart, and TeamNEO and supported by a steering committee comprised of corporate and civic leaders — is a regional strategy effort with a balanced mission of strengthening technology-based economic growth and prosperity for all Greater Cleveland residents. Since 2019, the alliance, steering committee, and more than 150 business, entrepreneurial, institutional, and nonprofit leaders have developed and launched integrated initiatives towards the vision of Cleveland being a Leading Midwest Region for Technology-led Growth & Inclusion by 2030.
Based on a review of the region’s innovation assets, industry clusters, and market trends, three sectors emerged as having the most powerful combination of strengths, opportunities, potential, and readiness for growth:
- Smart Manufacturing: Leading in innovation, application and scaling of industrial digital technologies, leveraging Cleveland’s position as one of the largest and most diverse manufacturing hubs.
- Health Innovation: Developing the technologies and services for delivering excellent remote and community health care, reducing health disparities, and promoting wellness, and becoming a global center for pathogens and infectious disease research, development and manufacturing of new diagnostics and medicines.
- Water Technologies: Becoming a center for next-generation solutions—controls, treatments, data, and analytics—for a water-stressed world.
These strategic sector initiatives will be enhanced by four initiatives to strengthen the region’s innovation ecosystem:
- Boost STEM Talent: Align and expand education and training programs—post-secondary through post-graduate—to prepare many and diverse individuals for STEM careers.
- Catalyze a Capital Continuum: Foster and provide access to a robust range of private capital sources to start and scale businesses.
- Expedite Digital Equity: Ensure every resident has access to in-home high-quality broadband for learning, working, and living by 2022.
- Enhance Innovation Zones: Develop the region’s primary innovation geographies—the Health-Tech and Opportunity Corridors.
The project has set the following 2030 targets for the region:
- 100% of households with high-quality broadband connectivity by 2022
- 20,000 additional tech-led innovation jobs, with 25% held by Black or Latinx individuals and 50% held by women
- 20,000 additional STEM graduates (above baseline) trained and retained, or attracted; 25% Black or Latinx and 50% women
- >$2 billion in increased targeted research investment
- >$4 B in total invested capital in tech-led companies, with 25% having Black or Latinx executives and 50% having women executives
- >2 million square feet of new institutional, commercial, residential and community space in the Health-Tech and Opportunity Corridors
The initiatives met most of the 2021 targets adoped by the Steering Committee. New targets have been set for each initiative for 2022 to keep the region on trajectory towards the overall vision. Read more on cleveland.com.