Issue: Jun 2007


Nation's Focus Is on Ohio for Growth and Investment in Fuel Cell



by Steve Barclay

One of the most
significant national events in the fuel cell industry has business
leaders focusing on Ohio as a target for capital investment and
business expansion. Prominent business leaders in the fuel cell
industry will meet at The Annual Fuel Cell Symposium held this week
in Columbus, Ohio, to showcase the state's strengths in helping
businesses develop cutting-edge technology to power the nation's fuel
cell initiatives. According to the Ohio Business Development
Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for
capital investment, the symposium will also highlight how Ohio's
nurturing business
environment and collaboration among industry
insiders offers companies and executives the opportunity to realize
their highest goals and ambitions.

"This event is a great opportunity to hear from industry, academic
and government leaders about the opportunities, initiatives and
successes that are helping advance and promote the fuel cell industry
in Ohio," said Mike McKay, team leader for the Ohio Fuel Cell
Initiative at the Ohio Department of Development. "Participants will
have a firm understanding about how Ohio is taking the lead in fuel
cell technology."

Ohio is the preferred location for hundreds of companies developing
state-of-the-art technology that is changing the dynamic of the fuel
cell industry.

Recently, several companies have announced plans to invest, expand or
relocate in Ohio. This month, California-based UltraCell Corporation
announced its plans for the company's first expansion outside the
state of California. UltraCell will open the world's first
high-volume fuel cell manufacturing plant near Dayton, Ohio, creating
more than 200 jobs in the next three years.

This month, Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Inc., a world-leading
provider of power systems, revealed its global fuel cell capacity
expansion plans by acquiring the assets of Ohio-based SOFCo-EFS
Holdings LLC from McDermott International Inc.

"Ohio is one of the few places in the world where all phases of fuel
cell development take place, from research and development to
component and material supply to final product manufacturing," said
Ken Alfred, executive director of the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition. "This
alone makes the state a powerful force in the fuel cell arena, and an
attractive location for growing companies in the industry to take
root."

The state has committed to supporting the industry with the Ohio Fuel
Cell Initiative, a $103 million program that aims to spur job creation
in Ohio while positioning the state as a national leader in the
growing fuel cell industry. The initiative is an integral part of the
Third Frontier Project, a $1.6 billion high-tech research program
designed to help catalyze connections between companies and academia
to support the development process.

"Ohio provides executives the ability to reach their highest business
and personal goals imaginable," said Ed Burghard, executive director
of the Ohio Business Development Coalition. "The state has a
competitive advantage with its variety of low-cost, low-stress
communities that allow executives the opportunity to pursue their
personal ambitions and achieve a complete work-life
balance."


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