primarily in grades K-16, including the “nationally acclaimed” Ohio STEM Learning Network.
Mr. Stoff said that the Roundtable had also “played a major role” in building statewide bipartisan support for the Ohio Third Frontier, which he called the premier public-private innovation platform in the state and a model that has been replicated by many other states. He reiterated the good news mentioned earlier by Dr. Proenza—that the program was significantly extended shortly before the symposium by “a successful bipartisan effort to secure another $700 million for an additional five years of support. I think the real headline of the story is that in the face of a crippling recession and a time of government distrust, Ohio voters overwhelming approved the Third Frontier bond renewal measure by 62 to 38. The voters acted on their belief that Ohio needs to continue to invest in building its innovation economy.”
Mr. Stoff said that the Third Frontier results have been “impressive.” An independent analysis sponsored by the Roundtable and performed under the direction of the CFO of Cleveland-based Eaton Corporation, found that the investments produced a leverage ratio of 8.5 to 1, , generating some $6 billion in venture funding from venture capital, the private sector, and the Federal government. It reported a return on investment of 22 percent per year, and creation of 68,000 jobs with average salaries of $65,000. Some 650 companies had been created, capitalized, or attracted. “We’ve now set the bar even higher,” he said, “as the Third Frontier enters its next phase.”
Mr. Stoff concluded by noting that this encouraging news was to some degree offset by significant challenges, which would be described by panel members at the symposium. “But that tension is stimulating and thought provoking,” he said, introducing the first speaker and the topic of relative state performance across the country.
Mr. DeVol, then executive director of economic research at the Milken Institute, said he would describe recent findings of Milken’s State Technology and Science Index (STSI), which annually compares technology innovation activities in all 50 states. 1 He said that according to the index, begun in 2002, innovation is becoming steadily more important in determining state and regional economic success.
He said that many of the factors that determine national economic performance also affect regional growth. The regions, however, do not face the same