The University of Cincinnati is officially launching its new 1819 Innovation Hub Friday. The former Sears building on Reading Road is now designed as a space for companies like Kroger and Procter & Gamble to interact and collaborate with students in a mutually beneficial way.
UC's Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams expects the stretch of Reading Road near Martin Luther King Drive will turn into a technology and innovation corridor similar to Kendall Square in Boston or California's Silicon Valley.
"We are in the process and working just as aggressively as we can as a community to accelerate these efforts because if you look at those communities, they continue to grow and thrive and become talent destinations," he says. "We want to have that occurring in a very large scale here in Cincinnati."
Companies including Kroger and Procter & Gamble are already on board.
Adams says the goal is to understand industry needs and how UC students and faculty may be able to help.
"We plan to be a beacon, not only for our region, but a beacon to the nation and to the world so those organizations that are thinking about innovation and looking for talent, that they see Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati as a place where they can come and co-locate with us to access that talent."
He envisions more housing and commerce will spring up around the corridor as well.
The name "1819" stems from the year the University of Cincinnati was founded.