UC celebrates grand opening of 1819 Innovation Hub

More than just a building, the University of Cincinnati’s ‘front door’ will attract talent and facilitate partnerships

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.

David J. Adams Chief Innovation officer at the University of Cincinnati spoke during the 1819 Innovation Hub opening celebration Friday October 5, 2018. UC / Joseph Fuqua II

UC Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services

“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.”

People checked out the one of many project and displays at the Innovation Hub during the 1819 Innovation Hub opening celebration Friday October 5, 2018. UC/ Joseph Fuqua II

Visitors to the 1819 Innovation Hub grand opening were treated to an innovation showcase that featured technologies such as drones and virtual reality. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services

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.

Students form Professor Dr. Kelly Cohen Drone class flew one of their drone in front  of the Ihub building during the 1819 Innovation Hub opening celebration Friday October 5, 2018. UC/ Joseph Fuqua II

Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services

“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

People checked out the one of many project and displays at the Innovation Hub during the 1819 Innovation Hub opening celebration Friday October 5, 2018. UC/ Joseph Fuqua II

Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services

Featured image at top of page includes (from left to right): UC Chief Information Officer David Adams, UC President Neville Pinto, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber CEO Jill Meyer and REDI Cincinnati CEO Kimm Lauterbach cut the ribbon to make the grand opening of the 1819 Innovation Hub official. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services

Innovate with industry

The University of Cincinnati is the birthplace of cooperative education. UC's 1819 Innovation Hub takes experiential learning to a new level by providing students a place where they can interact and innovate with Cincinnati's vibrant business community. Learn how you can become part of the university's 1819 Innovation Hub.


Become a Bearcat

Apply to an undergraduate program at UC, or a graduate program, and become a part of UC's innovative vision for the future. 

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