LIMA — The work began in 2005; the land was purchased in 2006, and in 2007 the city formed the Ohio Energy & Advanced Manufacturing Center.
This spring, the company will move out of a borrowed office and break ground on its 20,000-square foot technology center at the Job Ready Site at South Main and Fourth streets, officials said Wednesday.
The nonprofit public-private partnership will develop new manufacturing concepts, technology and materials and bring them to market and tangible applications.
The company also is developing a relationship with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Center President Judith Cowan and board Chairman Dr. Eric Baumgartner said. Cowan and members of the board recently visited the laboratory after several trips to Washington, D.C.
The national laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the U.S. Energy Department. The science and technology lab delivers discoveries and technical breakthroughs that increase development of clean energy and drive economic development for the country.
Oak Ridge is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system. ORNL’s scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security.
The group went to Tennessee to seek advice, Lima Mayor Dave Berger said, but it ended up being the impressive one.
“By the end of the visit, they were asking us to come and visit Lima,” Berger said. “We didn’t have to ask them. We had a great reception. This would give us access to great technology and resources.”
Industry, academic and local government officials initiated a partnership in 2005 to foster Sustainable Agile Manufacturing as an economic development strategy in Lima. Led by Berger, the efforts resulted in the OEAMC in 2007.
In 2006, Ohio awarded $3.2 million to Lima to purchase a 14-acre parcel of land, demolish several buildings on the site and construct new public infrastructure for development as a research and development site. The OEAMC will be located on a portion of that site. USA Synthetic Fuel and its Lima Energy project also will be located there separately.
In June 2011, the OEAMC received a $1.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration and a $1.6 million loan from the Ohio Development Department to construct the center.
The OEAMC is intended to host joint venture collaborations in a neutral location. It will focus on design and development, energy, advanced joining techniques, coating technology, simulation software, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing technology and agile tooling.
Berger, General Dynamics Plant Manager Keith Deters, Husky Lima Refinery Planning and Economic Director Pat Conrath, Ford Motor Co. Director of Productions Systems Adrian Price and American Trim R&D Director Stephen Hatkevich also sit on the board.
For more information about the OEAMC, visit www.oeamc.org or call 419-230-7897.