Intel Expansion Ohio Rendering

Intel Brings Next Level Investments to the Columbus Region

By The Beta District

Intel to Construct Two Semi-Conductor Fabs in the Columbus Region

Intel recently announced plans to build two semi-conductor plants, or “fabs” in the Columbus Region, calling it the “Silicon Heartland.” Intel will invest $20 billion in Ohio, including $100 million toward regional colleges and universities to ensure a pipeline of technology professionals. So, what does this unprecedented investment mean for The Beta District?

Ohio’s Values of Collaboration and Hard-work

First, it validates that Ohio’s and our region’s collaboration make us unique. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said he was impressed by how everyone worked together to seal the deal. Gelsinger noted, “I want to give a lot of credit to the governor and lieutenant governor. They pursued us very aggressively.”

Access to STEM talent, university partnerships and Ohio’s manufacturing culture also played a role. That collaborative, hard-work ethic is embedded in everything we do here at The Beta District and throughout Ohio. We’re a community that works together.

The Beta District's Commitment to Innovative Manufacturing

Second, Intel further fuels The Beta District’s momentum around developing and testing cutting-edge technologies. Innovative companies like Expedient, Nestle, Cardinal Health, Scotts Miracle-Gro and Honda, based or operating in The Beta District, will undoubtedly reap the many benefits that Intel and its supply chain will bring.

Tim Hansley, Union County Administrator and president of the Northwest 33 Council of Governments (COG) that oversees The Beta District, believes Intel will have a similar impact on central Ohio as Honda Development and Manufacturing of America, locating to the region about 40 years ago.

“My main observation has always been that good begets good,” Hansley said. “This has certainly been true in the case of Honda and the positive benefits that continue to spin-off their success. There is no doubt in my mind that additional high technology projects will be attracted to The Beta District as a result of Intel choosing central Ohio for their new manufacturing facilities.”

Eric Phillips, also a COG member and executive director of the Union County Economic Development Partnership, added that joint ventures between Intel and the automotive industry operating in Ohio are highly probable.

“This is a great opportunity to marry The Beta District’s high-tech sectors with the Intel campus,” Phillips said. “This will benefit Honda and the automotive suppliers with microchips, but also in my opinion increase the talent pool in the region.”

On the day of Intel’s historic announcement, Intel cleverly coined the term, “Silicon Heartland,” likening the Ohio venture to the 1970’s “Silicon Valley” phenomenon in Northern California. The tech boom in the Bay Area also included a skilled science research and technology base spawned from local universities combined with substantial private investment. Since then, the region has been an epicenter for technology advancement and is homebase to numerous leading innovative companies and their business partners.

Similarly, JobsOhio, OneColumbus, The Ohio State University, Columbus State Community College and others have laid the necessary groundwork of thoughtful public and private partnerships to capitalize on the resources Intel’s vast ecosystem will bring to innovation in Ohio.

The Beta District is leveraging that same groundwork to test automated and connected vehicles, unmanned aircraft systems, cyber security and data privacy, advanced and predictive analytics, supply chain advancements, high-speed fiber as an economic development tool, artificial intelligence and 3D modeling and printing.

With Intel’s move to the Columbus Region these projects will have only greater visibility, greater resources and greater impact on global technology across multiple industries. The Beta District is happy to roll out the carpet for Intel and give them a big Buckeye welcome to the “Silicon Heartland.”

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