It’s always dangerous when guys like me try to do math, but some recent research has sent me to the calculator and I think I’ve found a way to create about 11,000 jobs in Northeast Ohio.
NorTech this week shared some preliminary research on the state of the High-Tech Sector in Northeast Ohio by Ziona Austrian and Jill Taylor at the Center for Economic Development at CSU’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. NorTech will be issuing a final report soon, but the one item from the preliminary data that grabbed me was our region’s relatively poor performance when it comes to research and development conducted at our colleges and universities. The data looked at R&D spending on a per capita basis. In the U.S., R&D expenditures at academic centers equal $345 per employee. In Northeast Ohio, R&D spending is just $192 per employee, or $153 less than the national average. About 2 million people work in Northeast Ohio. Which means to just reach the national average, Northeast Ohio would have to increase R&D spending by $306 million a year. According to this study, 36 jobs are created for every $1 million in R&D spending. A $306 million increase in R&D spending would then result in 11,016 new jobs in the region.
What would you be willing to do if it meant adding 11,016 jobs to the region?
The University Study Commission, in its final report, recommended the funding of the North Shore Graduate and Research Alliance to expand the funded research base; to attract graduate students and research faculty; and to enhance and coordinate academic and industry partnerships in research and innovation.
That would be a first step. But we’ll clearly need to do more to expand our research capacity to catch up with the rest of the country and create those 11,000 jobs.