Ohio ranked 10th among U.S. states in attracting research funding from the National Institutes of Health last year.
Ohio pulled in $778 million last year, up slightly from $769 million in 2009. The figures include funding awarded directly by the NIH, plus dollars specified in 2009′s federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the “stimulus.” (Credit and thanks go to BioOhio, the state’s biomedical trade group, for wading through and aggregating the data.)
The figures are often adjusted during the course of the following year, so the final 2010 amount could grow slightly, BioOhio said.
NIH funding is important because it can be the first step in paying for research that leads to innovative new products that build companies, create jobs and generate wealth. Such research is often too risky and early stage for private companies to engage in, so the government frequently funds nascent research projects until the research shows enough promise for private industry to take over.
“NIH funding in Ohio supports critical research projects that will ultimately translate into new cures, treatments and medical products that improve and save lives in America, and around the world,” said John Lewis, BioOhio’s chief operating officer.
NIH dollars have funded research and development efforts at a number of promising Ohio biomedical companies, including stem cell developer Arteriocyte, imaging firm Imalux and drug developer Great Lakes Pharmaceuticals.
Ohio’s take far exceeded the national average of $497 million per state. Considering that Ohio ranks seventh among states in population, it seems appropriate that the state would be among the nation’s leaders in research funding.
Five individual recipients in the state — Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic — ranked among the top 100 across the nation.
At No. 39, Case topped all other Ohio institutions with $185 million in NIH funding last year. Ohio State nipped at Case’s heels at No. 40, with $180 million. As for the rest, University of Cincinnati finished at No. 62 with $123 million, Cincinnati Children’s placed at No. 69 with $107 million and Cleveland Clinic was No. 74 with $90 million.
Just five other states placed more institutions in the top 100 than Ohio’s five: Massachusetts (13), California (11), New York (10), Texas (7) and Pennsylvania (6).
In overall 2010 dollars, California finished first with $3.9 billion, far outpacing closest follower Massachusetts, which drew $2.8 billion in NIH funding last year.
But just as NIH dollars that flow to Ohio help grow the state’s biomedical industry, a reduction in those dollars could hurt the industry’s progress. House Republicans propose cutting $1 billion from the NIH’s annual $31 billion budget.
“Regardless of how a reduction of NIH funds coming into Ohio might happen, it would slow the momentum of our state’s bioscience R&D engine,” Lewis said. “It would not, however immediately impact Ohio biomedical commerce.”
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