A game-changer. A difference-maker. A statement to the world.
Those are just a few of the ways leaders from the Cincinnati region described the impact they expect from the University of Cincinnati’s new 1819 Innovation Hub in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Avondale. UC and Greater Cincinnati leaders and stakeholders gathered at 1819 on Friday — along with more than 1,000 guests — to celebrate the building’s grand opening.
UC leaders have long envisioned 1819 becoming UC’s front door to the broader community, where industry and community can connect directly with UC faculty and students. With its portfolio of partner organizations that already includes Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Cincinnati Bell, CincyTech, the Live Well Collaborative and Village Life Outreach, that vision has become a reality.
“We’ve got a place that’s within a mile of campus where companies are collaborating with our students and our faculty around innovative solutions to problems they have,” said David J. Adams, UC’s first-ever chief innovation officer.
As partnerships have formed and evolved, it’s become clear that 1819 is more than a door. UC President Neville Pinto predicted the facility at 2900 Reading Road will become a talent magnet, an economic engine and the anchor of the burgeoning Uptown Innovation Corridor.
“In our 21st century economy, talent is king, and we must always remember that talent has many choices,” Pinto said. “The 1819 Innovation Hub and the innovation district will attract and retain talent to lead us into a bold tomorrow on a pathway charted by our Next Lives Here strategic direction. 1819 is a key example of how UC is leading urban, public universities into a new era of innovation and impact.”
Sid Thatham, a recent UC graduate (MS Chemical Engineering ‘18, MBA ‘18) who now works as a utility engineer at UC’s Central Utility Plant, was impressed by 1819’s “future-thinking” atmosphere. As a native Indian and former international student, Thatham predicted that the Hub would be a major attraction for talented prospective students overseas. “In general, I’m just super stoked that we have something as cool as this as a part of UC,” he added.
The 133,000-square-foot building’s name honors the visionaries who founded what would later become UC in the early 19th century, but the 1819 Innovation Hub’s focus is all about the future — and not just in terms of technological advancements. It’s about the future of the university, the city and the entire region.
“With the opening of this building, the 1819 Innovation Hub, the University of Cincinnati is firmly putting a stake in the ground to lead the way and to build our future city,” said Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce.
UC is no stranger to innovation. From the invention of cooperative education to the discovery of the polio vaccine, the university has long been known for fostering ingenuity. That remains true today, and innovators from several of UC’s colleges and student organizations were on hand to show visitors new advancements in virtual and augmented reality, drone technology, and more. And meanwhile, on the ground floor of the former — and Cincinnati's first-ever — Sears, Roebuck & Co. department store, visitors marveled as the 3D-printers in 1819’s 12,000-square-foot makerspace hummed and an enormous router sliced complex designs into wood.
News media coverage of grand opening
By Matt Koesters
Photo courtesy Joeseph Fuqua II, UC Creative Services