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 — was initiated with a balanced mission of strengthening technology-based economic growth and prosperity for all Greater Cleveland residents. Since June 2019, the alliance, steering committee, and more than 150 local business, entrepreneurial, institutional, and nonprofit leaders have worked diligently to develop strategies and plans towards the vision of Cleveland becoming a Leading Midwest Region for Technology-led Growth & Inclusion by 2030.
Vision and Initiatives
Driven by this mission, the project has developed a vision, strategies, and plans aimed towards establishing Cleveland as a Leading Midwest Region for Technology-Led Growth and 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, impact potential, and readiness for scaled growth efforts:
- 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 service models 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 and development and the 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 Digital/STEM Talent: Align and expand education and training programs—post-secondary through post-graduate—to prepare many and diverse individuals for careers in digital/STEM jobs.
- Catalyze a Capital Continuum: Foster and provide access to a robust and varied range of private capital sources to start and scale businesses.
- Expedite Digital Equity: Ensure every Greater Cleveland resident has access to in-home high-quality broadband for online learning, working, and living by 2022.
- Enhance Innovation Zones: Develop the region’s primary innovation geographies—the Health-Tech Corridor and the Opportunity Corridor—to accelerate outcomes through proximity, connections, and inclusivity.
Reflecting the mission of the project, the sector and ecosystem initiatives address both business growth and talent development.
Goals and Outcomes
The project’s vision is for Cleveland to become a Leading Midwest Region for Technology-led Growth and Inclusion by 2030. The project has set the following 2030 targets for the region:
- 100% of Greater Cleveland 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 digital or STEM graduates educated and retained, or attracted to Cleveland, with 25% being Black or Latinx and 50% being women
- >$2 billion in increased targeted research investment
- >$4 billion in total invested capital in tech-led companies, with 25% of companies having Black or Latinx executives and 50% having women executives
- >2 million square feet of new institutional, commercial, residential and community development in the Health-Tech and Opportunity Corridors
Overall, these outcomes will result in Cleveland having a GDP growth rate equal to peer regions with inclusive prosperity.
Cleveland Innovation Project News