Flyover Future: UC's David Adams gives peek inside CID's success

Cincinnati Innovation District shines in spite of pandemic with full house in UC 1819 Innovation Hub

Regional publication Flyover Future profiled the University of Cincinnati’s Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams about the success of the Cincinnati Innovation District’s® (CID) first year. 

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down college campuses and major businesses within days of launching the CID last March, Adams shares how the purpose-built innovation model has continued to grow, attract and retain talent to the Greater Cincinnati region.

Graphic map of Cincinnati Innovation District showing several Cincinnati streets and institutions.

Cincinnati Innovation District

In the comprehensive query, Adams goes on in inspiring detail about how the CID initiative defied the odds during a pandemic year, describing the number of companies who have partnered with UC and the CID, from Fortune 500 companies to successful new startups, many of whom were launched by UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub.

“People are drawn to locations where innovation is occurring, and organizations are drawn to that talent,” Adams said in Flyover Future. “The CID is in close proximity to students, research, educational resources and other organizations seeking to transform. It is a highly connective — live, work, learn and play — ecosystem.

“Our efforts are modeled after much research by leading experts, such as the Brookings Institution, Jonathan Gruber, Richard Florida and many others on innovation districts. These are ‘places’ typically anchored by major research institutions.”

In the Q&A interview, Adams shares an historical overview of how the idea of the CID started in 2017 after UC President Neville G. Pinto created UC’s Office of Innovation, revealing Pinto’s aspiration for the CID to serve as the connector between the community and the university. 

When sharing the path CID has taken to become a model for other cities in Ohio, Adams commented, “We have learned — through our experience in establishing the 1819 Innovation Hub and now, the Cincinnati Innovation District — that we have a model that can quickly be replicated to other communities. We continue to be intentional in our ‘purpose-built innovation district.’

“As the saying goes, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and we are working hard to be one of those tides….and as I say, ‘Stay tuned. We are just getting started.’”

Read the Flyover Future article.

Featured image at top: UC Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams inside his office at UC's 1819 Innovation Hub. Photo/Greg Glevicky/UC Innovation Office

About the Cincinnati Innovation District

The Cincinnati Innovation District® is a unique and thriving ecosystem that attracts, produces, retains and develops talent by co-locating and collaborating with organizations. Unveiled in 2020 by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted, the district envelops myriad innovation assets and access to some of the world’s leading academic and research centers, organizations and talent pools. Powered by the University of Cincinnati, the CID includes the world-renowned Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and other national research centers. The district’s mission is to become a globally recognized talent hub and lead a transformational movement. The combination of industry engagement, unique experiential platforms and accessible research expertise — working at the pace of change — will become a model nationwide. For more information on the Cincinnati Innovation District, visit