Story courtesy of governor.ohio.gov
(North Canton, OH – Sept. 22, 2009) – Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and representatives from Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Limited today announced the company’s choice to expand their United States operations, consolidating Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Group global fuel cell research and development activities at the company’s North Canton location.
“Rolls-Royce and Stark State are committed to innovating and pursuing an even better, brighter future for North Canton and the entire state of Ohio,” Strickland said. “This type of high-tech investment is exactly what we need to create and expand business opportunities for Ohio companies and position our state as a leader in innovation and technology.”
Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems is developing large-scale power systems for stationary applications in North Canton, having established its North American headquarters at Stark State’s Fuel Cell Prototyping Center in 2006. Rolls-Royce has been investing in fuel cell technology for nearly 20 years. Marking a continued commitment to the North Canton community, Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems (U.S.) Inc. will invest $3 million in processing and testing equipment, enhancing its global presence as well as its capabilities in Ohio.
“There is a global competition for attracting and growing high tech advanced energy companies,” said Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems (U.S.) Inc. CEO Mark Fleiner. “The commitment of Ohio to support the development of a fuel cell industry, the strong partnership with Stark State College and the close proximity with development partners were key factors in our decision to grow operations in North Canton.”
Having recognized market demand for alternative power technologies, Stark State established the Fuel Cell Prototyping Center with the assistance of an Ohio Third Frontier Wright Project grant in 2003. The Prototyping Center and Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems remain strong partners in Ohio, having developed a concentration of knowledge, skill and technological leadership at the Center benefiting from the continued support of Ohio Third Frontier and state fuel cell initiatives.
"Ohio and the Third Frontier, under the leadership of Gov. Ted Strickland, is moving into a new era of opportunity that will create high-paying jobs through clean energy technology,” said Stark State College President Dr. John O’Donnell. “Stark State College, in partnership with Rolls Royce Fuel Cell Systems, is proud to be in the forefront of providing educational training to meet future workforce demands."
The North Canton community has seen a multi-phase expansion since Stark State established the Prototyping Center, developing both leading-edge research capabilities and technology-based education programming.
“Innovative companies find in Ohio an attractive business environment enhanced by our state’s targeted investment strategy,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “Ohio Third Frontier investments at Stark State College are paying serious dividends, providing students a 21st century skill set and Rolls-Royce a compelling reason to expand in the North Canton community.”
Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems’ strategic partnership with the State of Ohio establishes the North Canton area as a prominent location for the development of fuel cells, related technologies and the curriculum vital to growing Ohio’s 21st century workforce. Since 2003, the Ohio Third Frontier program has made over $11 million in investments in Stark State. This consistent and significant investment demonstrates Ohio’s firm belief in both organizations and the fuel cell industry.
"Today in Canton, Ohio, we show what a strong national energy policy can do to create jobs right here at home," said U.S. Representative John Boccieri. "The groundwork for today's announcement was laid for many years by Congressman Regula who had the foresight to know our part of Ohio can be a leader in the alternative energy sector. Investing in a strong national energy policy proves the jobs of tomorrow can be realized in our district today."
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