Toledo Glass Consortium Seeks $31M Grant for Tech Hub Creating 1,600 Jobs

The Northwest Ohio Innovation Consortium is “asking the state of Ohio for a $31.4 million grant to create a tech hub to advance glass-making and recycling,” and projects the hub would “create 1,600 local new jobs and $284 million in additional investment, research and outside capital,” The Toledo Blade reports. The consortium includes civic groups, The University of Toledo, Owens Community College, Bowling Green State University, and glassmakers O-I Glass, Owens Corning, Libbey Glass, and Pilkington N.A., according to the article. Pilkington N.A. makes sheet glass that First Solar Inc. uses in commercial-grade solar panels. Toledo’s consortium “was formed about 15 months ago to pursue grants to improve glass-making and move the industry away from fossil fuels at the behest of customers”; glass-making “makes heavy use of natural gas to heat the furnaces needed” for production. The state grant would accelerate improvements the four major glassmakers and First Solar “have been individually pursuing for years,” according to Roger Smith, the consortium’s regional innovation officer. The funds “will be used to research ways to make glass lighter-weight and stronger, while using electricity rather than natural gas to heat furnaces.” A new glass tech hub “would produce about $25 million in increased state tax revenue.” For more, read the full article (subscription may be required).

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