SOURCE: Ohio Business Development Coalition

May 23, 2007 11:10 ET

Nation's Focus Is on Ohio for Growth and Investment in Fuel Cell Industry

Symposium Highlights State's Attractive Qualities for Business Development and Technology Innovation in Fuel Cell Industry

COLUMBUS, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 23, 2007 -- One of the most significant national events in the fuel cell industry has business leaders focusing on Ohio as a target for capital investment and business expansion. Prominent business leaders in the fuel cell industry will meet at The Annual Fuel Cell Symposium held this week in Columbus, Ohio, to showcase the state's strengths in helping businesses develop cutting-edge technology to power the nation's fuel cell initiatives. According to the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment, the symposium will also highlight how Ohio's nurturing business environment and collaboration among industry insiders offers companies and executives the opportunity to realize their highest goals and ambitions.

"This event is a great opportunity to hear from industry, academic and government leaders about the opportunities, initiatives and successes that are helping advance and promote the fuel cell industry in Ohio," said Mike McKay, team leader for the Ohio Fuel Cell Initiative at the Ohio Department of Development. "Participants will have a firm understanding about how Ohio is taking the lead in fuel cell technology."

Ohio is the preferred location for hundreds of companies developing state-of-the-art technology that is changing the dynamic of the fuel cell industry.

Recently, several companies have announced plans to invest, expand or relocate in Ohio. This month, California-based UltraCell Corporation announced its plans for the company's first expansion outside the state of California. UltraCell will open the world's first high-volume fuel cell manufacturing plant near Dayton, Ohio, creating more than 200 jobs in the next three years.

This month, Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Inc., a world-leading provider of power systems, revealed its global fuel cell capacity expansion plans by acquiring the assets of Ohio-based SOFCo-EFS Holdings LLC from McDermott International Inc.

"Ohio is one of the few places in the world where all phases of fuel cell development take place, from research and development to component and material supply to final product manufacturing," said Ken Alfred, executive director of the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition. "This alone makes the state a powerful force in the fuel cell arena, and an attractive location for growing companies in the industry to take root."

The state has committed to supporting the industry with the Ohio Fuel Cell Initiative, a $103 million program that aims to spur job creation in Ohio while positioning the state as a national leader in the growing fuel cell industry. The initiative is an integral part of the Third Frontier Project, a $1.6 billion high-tech research program designed to help catalyze connections between companies and academia to support the development process.

"Ohio provides executives the ability to reach their highest business and personal goals imaginable," said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition. "The state has a competitive advantage with its variety of low-cost, low-stress communities that allow executives the opportunity to pursue their personal ambitions and achieve a complete work-life balance."

About the Ohio Business Development Coalition

The Ohio Business Development Coalition is a nonprofit organization that provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio's economic development efforts. For more information, visit http://www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.

For more information about the Ohio Fuel Cell Symposium, visit www.fuelcellsohio.org.

Contact Information

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