Ohio's Third Frontier program will be up for renewal on the May 2010 ballot. The Ohio Third Frontier was created in 2002 within the Department of Development to firmly establish the state as an innovation leader. With a 10-year initial life and a bipartisan commitment of $1.6 billion, the Third Frontier program seeks to expand the state's high-tech research capabilities to accelerate the pace of commercialization within Ohio. The Third Frontier supports these efforts in the hope that they will produce high-wage jobs, new growth companies, and globally competitive products.
With the original 10-year funding commitment set to expire at the end of 2011, the current ballot initiative asks voters to approve additional borrowing of $700 million for the program, which would be added to $50 million remaining from the current program, for a total $750 million renewal. A recent study of the Third Frontier program shows that its investments have supported the formation of 571 new companies, expansion of existing companies, 48,000 new jobs and more than $6.6 billion in economic activity throughout Ohio.