The Columbus Innovation District is a proposed healthcare and technology hub within the Ohio State University in the state of Ohio, US.
It will act as a hub to drive innovation and growth in the state while increasing educational opportunities for the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) academic discipline.
Unveiled in February 2021, the technology hub will bring together global education and healthcare research institutions, attracting researchers to initiate, develop and share ideas. It is being developed by JobsOhio, Ohio State University, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Expected to be completed in 2023, the Columbus Innovation District is expected to create up to 20,000 new jobs over the next decade, including 10,000 STEM-related jobs across technology and healthcare industries and 10,000 indirect jobs. It is estimated to contribute $3bn to the economy of Columbus and Ohio over the coming ten years.
Columbus Innovation District location and details
To be located at Ohio State University’s West Campus, the new innovation district will allow academic researchers, students, Fortune 500 companies and start-ups to share and develop ideas. It will be the third innovation district in the state of Ohio, after Cincinnati and Cleveland.
The innovation hub will feature an interdisciplinary research facility, a gene therapy manufacturing facility, an energy advancement and innovation centre, and an outpatient cancer centre. The buildings will take up approximately 750,000ft².
Interdisciplinary Research Facility
The interdisciplinary research facility is being developed as a 305,000ft², five-storey laboratory building with a budget of $237.5m. The site is located to the west of Kenny Road and south of Lane Avenue.
The university sought approval from its board of trustees for the construction and the remaining balance of design services for the research facility in February 2020. Construction of the facility began during at the end of 2020 is anticipated to be completed by mid-2023.
The facility will support a multitude of research disciplines such as biomedical, life sciences, engineering, and environmental sciences.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital, through its affiliate Andelyn Biosciences, started the construction of a new gene therapy manufacturing facility at 1250 Arthur E Adams Drive in the innovation hub in November 2020.
Expected to be opened in 2022, the 185,000ft² production facility will be central Ohio’s first commercial-scale current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) production facility and is expected to create more than 200 jobs.
Andelyn is investing more than $100m in gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organisation.
Outpatient cancer facility at Columbus Innovation District
The outpatient cancer facility at the university, also known as Wexner Medical Center Outpatient Care West Campus, is being built south of the intersection of the Kenny and Carmack roads. The 385,000ft², five-storey, cancer-focused centre will house the first proton therapy treatment facility in central Ohio.
Being constructed by the Ohio State University in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the building will include outpatient operating rooms, pre-anaesthesia centre, interventional radiology rooms, extended recovery unit, a diagnostic imaging centre, haematology clinic, genitourinary (GU) clinic, retail pharmacy, infusion and medical office spaces.
Construction started in July 2020 and the facility is expected to be inaugurated in mid-2023, while the proton centre is scheduled for opening by the end of 2023.
Energy Advancement and Innovation Centre
The 52,600ft² energy advancement and innovation centre will support the next generation smart energy systems, renewable energy and green mobility solutions. It will facilitate collaboration between the university’s faculty members, students, alumni, researchers of Engie Buckeye Operations, as well as entrepreneurs and industry experts.
The design of the facility started in September 2019 and is expected to continue until March 2021. Construction is expected to begin in June 2021, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, with completion anticipated by May 2023.
Financing for Columbus Innovation District
The innovation hub secured financial commitments totalling $1.1bn from the developers in February 2021. While JobsOhio pledged to invest up to $100m, the Ohio State University agreed to invest $647m to build infrastructure on a 109.26ha university-owned land.
Andelyn signed the land lease agreement for the new gene therapy manufacturing centre with SciTech.
CE&IC was selected as the architect for the gene therapy production facility while Gilbane was appointed as the project’s main contractor.