Cleveland Foundation awards $1.75 mln for IoT collaboration

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Cleveland, Jan. 31, 2018: The Cleveland Foundation has announced a US $1.75 million grant to Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University to help the two institutions launch ‘IoT Collaborative’ – a concerted effort focused on the Internet of Things (IoT).

One of the key components of what is being called the “fourth industrial revolution,” IoT refers to the vast interconnected network of devices – which are expected to number more than 30 billion by 2020.

“This work has the potential to be economically transformative if we are able to take a global leadership position on this critical aspect of the IoT revolution while leveraging Cleveland’s history as an industrial and manufacturing powerhouse,” Cleveland Foundation President and CEO Ronn Richard said in a statement.

The Cleveland Foundation grant will help both universities attract top academic talent, create research labs on their respective campuses and formally establish the IoT Collaborative organisational ecosystem. This builds upon $250,000 in planning funds from the foundation as part of its Digital Excellence Initiative, and a signed memorandum of understanding between the two universities.

“We have already seen significant early successes as a result of this partnership,” Cleveland State President Ronald M. Berkman said. “Through the planning grant, faculty from both schools have established new relationships that provide the foundation for growth and have met to map out new collaborative research directions that tie closely to Cleveland’s most critical needs. It is imperative that we build the research infrastructure, both in terms of talent and a supportive environment, to establish Cleveland at the forefront of this rapidly growing and evolving sector.”

“We deeply appreciate the Cleveland Foundation’s generous and ongoing support of this forward-thinking collaboration,” Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder said. “The possibilities for Northeast Ohio are extraordinary, among them enhanced patient care, increased factory efficiency, and improved local infrastructure and services. Just as important, we also will prepare leaders to seize the opportunities inherent in an increasingly digital economy.”

To establish the collaborative as a global leader, Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State will also seek support from federal and state grants, traditional fundraising through alumni and other donors, research agreements and other local and national foundations. The National Science Foundation recently made a US $100,000 grant last fall to consider how IoT could benefit small- and medium-sized businesses on Cleveland’s west side.

 

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