Route 315 Next Silcon Valley?

Columbus City Council President Matt Habash Unveils Research and Technology Corridor Monday
Columbus City Council President Matt Habash Unveils Research and Technology Corridor Monday

Columbus could be a major center for scientific research and technology – if a plan to create technology corridor is successful. Columbus city council president Matt Habash says a 315 Research and Technology Corridor is vital to the region’s future, but it means a different approach to economic development.

The proposed 315 Research and Technology Corridor begins at Riverside Hospital and stretches south along State Route 315 to COSI. In those 10,000 acres, 50,000 people are employed and $1 billion worth of research is done annually. But until now, according to Columbus City council president Matt Habash, local leaders did not fully comprehend the available resources.

“Let’s tell ourselves what we have -we’ve got to market that to ourselves – we don’t know what’s there,” says Habash. “You know I often tease the university that they’ve got 18 different deans doing things and sometimes bureaucracies like cities and universities, they don’t communicate very well.”

The corridor’s resources have been pinpointed on a new map. They include Ohio State University, Battelle, Columbus Children’s Hospital, Chemical Abstracts, Edison Welding Institute and the SciTech Center. Habash says it’s more realistic for the governments of Columbus, Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, and Clinton Township to help nurture and develop businesses that began in central Ohio than to try to attract new ones.

“These start-up companies that are coming out of Ohio State and Battelle; they go from an idea to what could be a business. But when they need to go to the next level, we’re not ready for that,” says Habash.

Specific details have yet to be worked out, but a diverse group of community leaders spoke in support of the plan at a public forum late Monday afternoon.

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