In today’s business climate, if a company does not look for innovative ways to improve and adapt their products and services, they are doomed to fail. Innovation begins with Research and Development (R&D). Not only does R&D enhance and create a company’s products and services, it touches all facets of a business. Marketing, recruiting and tax breaks are just a few examples. With that in mind, businesses cannot afford not to invest in R&D.
Of course, the most prevalent hurdle to R&D is cost. The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) recognized this and has created resources that both small and large businesses can utilize to overcome this hurdle. The Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH), a Division of ODHE, is one such resource. OH-TECH is the overseeing body of Ohio’s statewide technology infrastructure organizations, in particular the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) and the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC). These organizations assist in providing the telecommunications infrastructure and resources that allow business to perform R&D in an affordable, cost-effective manner.
Created in 1987, OARnet strives to increase access to affordable broadband services, reduce the cost of technology through aggregate purchasing and maximize shared services opportunities. OARnet is able to accomplish this through a 2,240 fiber-optic backbone that serves education, health care, public broadcasting and government entities. Through OARnet, users are able to access R&D tools, such as electron microscopes, telescopes and mass spectrometers. Another outstanding aspect of OARnet is it provides a connection to the OSC.
The OSC is a statewide resource that provides supercomputing services and computational science expertise. Without having to invest in costly hardware, software and training, businesses are able to avoid large capital outlays. To assist those who utilize OSC, the organization provides AweSim. AweSim gives manufacturers an affordable option to R&D through computer simulations. According to Alan Chalker, Director of AweSim, computer simulations are “less expensive, reduces time to take products to market while improving quality and cutting costs.”
Terra State Community College is always at the forefront of seeking new and different opportunities that can benefit workforce development. These offerings from ODHE can do just that. Terra State encourages the small and large businesses in our area to reach out OARnet and OSC and effectively build for the future.
Ohio Department of Higher Education – www.ohiohighered.org
OARnet – http://www.oar.net
Ohio Supercomuter Center – www.osc.edu
AweSim – http://www.awesim.org