When I talk to innovative companies seeking a competitive advantage, I tell them there are a number of reasons for setting up shop in Ohio. I talk about access to a predictable business environment, our skilled workforce, and the scale-up opportunities that JobsOhio and our partners can facilitate for them. But I also mention our integrated infrastructure – including the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet).
The fact is, these two critical infrastructure components provide Ohio with an advantage no other state can claim: a large, publicly available high-speed computing system coupled with the fastest broadband available. And, because the State of Ohio has invested more than $100 million in these assets, businesses can leverage these investments to stay on the leading edge of the technology curve – and ahead of their competition.
OSC’s services go beyond commonly available commercial offerings by providing businesses with integrated hardware, software and consulting, all under one roof. When I talk to business owners, CIOs and CFOs, I tell them that by diving into high-performance, computer-driven modeling and simulation, they can get their products to market faster, saving time and money while improving their products and operations.
As I recruit companies to Ohio, I can tell them that OSC offers businesses special expertise in modeling, simulation, and analysis through its AweSim program. AweSim allows businesses to find solutions to challenges too dangerous, too large, too small, or too distant to analyze in real life. The OSC staff also provides clients with educational materials, training courses, industry-specific expertise, and consultants.
After learning about OSC, a business leader often asks me how a firm would tap into such a unique, powerful resource. Fortunately, I can point to OARnet, the state’s ultrafast, statewide research and education network. OARnet provides 2,240 miles of fiber-optic broadband at 100 gigabits per second, which is available to private businesses when collaborating with one of the state’s 200 higher-education institutions.
And, beyond the speed of OARnet’s fiber backbone, I can describe how it connects clients to OSC and many other unique assets at colleges, universities, and other research centers across the state. Through the network, for example, businesses can conduct sophisticated materials research online using multimillion-dollar equipment at the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis at The Ohio State University.
OARnet also lets businesses reach far beyond Ohio, allowing them to work with distant research partners through connections to government networks operated by NASA and the Department of Defense, as well as national research and education networks that, in turn, connect to foreign research and education networks.
Leg Up on the Competition
These attributes are convincing, and more and more companies are locating here for our integrated infrastructure and central location. TotalSim, for example, is a high-tech company whose core business is computational fluid dynamics, which analyzes such things as airflow around cars and aircraft. This kind of modeling requires high-speed computers such as OSC to run the calculations needed for those simulations. Several years ago, TotalSim located to Dublin for its proximity to auto and racing centers – Indianapolis, Detroit, and Charlotte – and because of OSC and OARnet.
Yet, Ohio’s infrastructure has the flexibility to serve any kind of business or industry and to connect R&D collaborators at the speed of business. That’s good news for me, of course, as it makes my Ohio sales pitch stronger. More importantly, it’s good for businesses, it’s good for jobs, and it’s good for Ohio.
JobsOhio is a private, nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. Learn more at www.jobs-ohio.com.