Cleveland Crain’s Business Journal reports, “The Harrington Discovery Institute on Wednesday, June 11, received a state grant that could be worth up to $25 million. That would be the biggest award given through Ohio’s Third Frontier economic development program in nearly eight years.
The $25 million is more money than a third-party evaluator recommended for the project. But several members of the Third Frontier Commission said they want to make big bets on projects that have the potential to have a significant impact on Ohio’s economy.
An independent company that evaluated the project in many ways gave it a glowing review. But the company, YourEncore, had one significant caveat: Ohio does not have a strong pharmaceutical industry, compared with cities such as Boston. Even if the institute can recruit scientists and startup companies to Ohio, there’s no guarantee they’ll stay here, according to Robert Worden of YourEncore, which has an office in Cincinnati.
But the institute and BioMotiv, a Shaker Heights-based firm that aims to invest in and spin out several drug development companies, have deep relationships with players in the pharmaceutical industry, both in Ohio and other states. Thus, there is reason to think that the institute might be able to keep the companies it recruits, Worden said.
“If anyone can do it, I think (Harrington) has a good shot,” he said.”