Accolades and optimism were in the air Friday along with snow flurries when Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland visited UT’s Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation to celebrate a $1 billion partnership to provide small business loans.
Among the companies benefiting from the Ohio Huntington Business Loan Program, a partnership between the state and Huntington Bank, are solar energy firms Xunlight, a UT spin-off company, and Willard & Kelsey Solar Group.
The governor thanked UT faculty, President Lloyd Jacobs and University trustees for their efforts to make the institution a respected leader in the alternative energy field.
“We’re so proud of this university,” Strickland said to the more than 200 people at the event. “It’s a remarkable institution doing wonderful things.”
Huntington CEO Steve Steinour echoed that sentiment.
“UT is a global leader in what’s going on in the marketplace of alternative energy,” he said. “It could be happening anywhere in the world; it’s happening here.”
Steinour added the University is at the forefront in this area thanks to the commitment of the people of northwest Ohio.
Dr. Rosemary Haggett, UT Main Campus provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said funding is necessary to help the University continue to lead the way in alternative energy research.
“The University of Toledo has worked hard to help faculty and researchers commercialize research conducted in the lab, patent it, and create some of the high-tech, knowledge-based jobs that the region needs as the local and global economies change,” Haggett said. “Capital investment and small business loans are an essential component of that business growth.”
Ohio Treasurer and UT alumnus Kevin Boyce, Willard & Kelsey CEO Michael Cicak, Huntington Northwest Ohio Regional President Sharon Speyer and UT Professor and Xunlight co-founder and CEO and Dr. Xunming Deng also talked about the potential growth the small business loans will bring to the region.