Strickland visits UT advanced energy centerWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
Governor Ted Strickland announced the University of Toledo has been named a Center of Excellence in Advanced Renewable Energy and the Environment during his visit to the campus Oct. 29.
“The Center of excellence designation recognizes the important of what’s happening here at UT and will carry a great deal of weight when it comes to grants and funding,” said Governor Strickland.
“It’s a significant step on our journey to become an engaging university in the 21st Century. We have a tremendous responsibility to the community and developing technology for economic development here,” said UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs. “The governor’s visit is another sign of his support for the University.”
The center is expected to tap UT’s academic and research strengths to address the need for clean energy technologies and a better understanding of complex environmental systems.
Governor Strickland toured UT’s Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator on Dorr Street Thursday afternoon, visiting all of the start-up companies located there.
“When you consider the intellectual brain power here it’s a magnificent thing for UT and Toledo. There’s no part of Ohio more exciting to see what’s happening in cutting edge technology than Northwest Ohio,” Strickland said.
“We’re aware of the growing implements of advanced technology, particularly solar energy in Toledo and Dr. Jacobs is one of the visionary leaders this great state,” he said.
The Centers of Excellence will position the university system of Ohio to be a magnet for leadership in innovation and entrepreneurial activity, as outlined in Ohio’s 10-year “Strategic Plan for Higher Education.” The plan includes distinct missions for each institution that are recognized by students, faculty and business leaders while eliminating unnecessary competition for resources within the state, according to the Governor.
UT’s core areas of research and technology development will be focused around solar, biomass, wind, energy storage, conversion and management with environmental and ecosystems. That research and development supports local industrial growth in companies that are expanding their products to become competitive in the global market, according to UT officials.
UT has invested heavily in faculty and research infrastructure in the area of alternative energy and recently created a School of Solar and Renewable Energy while dedicating the Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation.
The state named nine Centers of Excellence focused in different areas of advanced energy at eight universities throughout the state.
The centers are expected to help Ohio meet the requirements of Senate Bill 221, an energy reform bill signed by Governor Strickland last year. The bill mandates that 25 percent of all electricity production in Ohio come from advanced energy sources by 2025.
Governor Strickland said the state’s Third Frontier Program needs to be renewed and he is urging the legislature to renew that funding program and put it on the ballot next spring.
“UT is a benefactor and recipient of funding from the Third Frontier Program and I’m not sure we would be here today without it,” Dr. Jacobs said.