Ohio's Aerospace Industry, Strengthening Focus as Economic Driver

DAYTON, OH -- Keeping pace with its strengthened involvement in Dayton and expanded presence with aerospace-focused organizations throughout the state, the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) held grand opening ceremonies today at its newest office near Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

"The opening of an OAI Dayton office further strengthens vital relationships with our industry and university members in southwest Ohio," says Michael Heil. "Better yet, it enables OAI to better support Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Research Laboratory."

The mission of OAI is to strengthen Ohio's aerospace economy through offerings of research and technology, education and training, and networking and information exchange.

The Cleveland-based economic development agency has been expanding its presence in Dayton since the January 2007 arrival of its CEO Michael Heil, whose career includes more than 30 years with the Air Force and service as Director, Center for Space Studies and Research at the Air Force Institute of Technology, which is located at Dayton's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Since Heil's arrival at OAI, the Air Force Academy and Ph.D. graduate's leadership has helped secure $1.6 million in federal defense money to help develop a new type of cooling system for military aircraft. The project will be led by OAI and involves Ohio University's Center for Advanced Materials in its Russ College of Engineering and Technology; GrafTech International, an advanced technology company in Parma, OH; and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories in Dayton.

OAI also recently forged a partnership with the National Aviation Heritage Foundation, which is headquartered in Dayton and manages the Congressionally-established National Aviation Heritage Area, an eight-county region surrounding the Dayton home of the Wright Brothers, the birthplace of aviation.

Congressman Mike Turner cut the ribbon at the grand opening for OAI's Dayton office (Wright Point Business Park, 5100 Springfield Pike, Suite 308) before aerospace leaders from industry, government and academia.

For more information visit www.oai.org.