About This Panel
This panel discussion features a diverse cadre of presenters sharing their unique perspectives and approaches to promote innovation and economic development in Ohio, especially concerning fostering relationships and talent pipelines from post-secondary institutions to industries.
Susan McDowell – Vice President for Research and Innovation, Miami University
As vice president for Research and Innovation, Susan McDowell, PhD, leads a team that oversees pre-award and non-financial post-award research administration, compliance, research development, research infrastructure, and intellectual property development. Susan is responsible for facilitating groundbreaking scholarship within the university, partnerships to benefit engagement and research, and the dissemination of those discoveries for a broader impact. McDowell joins the university at an exciting time: Miami’s sponsored research has steadily grown in recent years and continues its upwards trajectory, with more than $28 million in extramural funding for FY21, an $11 million increase from 2017. Additionally, Miami has solidified key relationships with partners like Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Procter & Gamble to drive student-centered innovation activities. McDowell had served as vice provost for Research at Ball State University since 2017 and as a faculty member in the Department of Biology there since 2003. Prior to these appointments, McDowell was employed as a research assistant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation and taught biology and chemistry at Lexington Catholic High School. Susan earned baccalaureate degrees in biology and secondary education from Thomas More College, Crestview Hills, KY, holds a doctoral degree in toxicology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and undertook postdoctoral training in the division of cardiovascular research at Eli Lilly & Co Indianapolis IN.
Chris Berry – President/CEO, Ohio X
Chris Berry is the President of OhioX, Ohio's technology and innovation partnership. OhioX is a nonprofit organization that represents and connects those committed to growing Ohio’s economy through technology and innovation. With more than 70 member companies and organizations, from BigCo to startups, BigTech and universities, OhioX works to connect, promote and advocate for Ohio's technology and innovation industries. Previously, Chris served as the Chief of Staff at the Ohio Treasury, and before that, worked on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.
Colleen Gilger – Director, Economic Development, The Ohio State University
Colleen Gilger has more than 25 years of experience leading a broad range of community development initiatives. She joined The Ohio State University in early 2022 as the Director of Economic Development in the Office of Innovation and Economic Development.
She is responsible for building corporate partnerships for the university and attracting businesses and research initiatives to Ohio State. The university is developing an Innovation District, a 270-acre transformative area on main campus where students, academic researchers and businesses will converge to accelerate new ideas in fields such as health sciences, biological materials, engineering, and computer science into promising solutions. She also serves as the university’s liaison for state and regional economic development projects.
Joe Jankowski – Chief Innovation Officer, Case Western Reserve University
Joe Jankowski, Ph.D. has spent nearly 19 years with Case Western Reserve University, and has served as the university’s Chief Innovation Officer for the past 9 years. He has expertise in industrial marketing and corporate partnering, with special focus on technology-based commercialization and entrepreneurship, including opportunity analysis, intellectual property portfolio creation and analysis, and mergers, acquisitions and deal structuring. He received a Ph.D. in Chemestry from SUNY as well as an MBA from Case Western University.
Jeff Agnoli – Senior Liaison, Ohio Innovation Exchange, The Ohio State University
Jeff Agnoli serves as the Senior Liaison for Strategic Partnerships with the Ohio Innovation Exchange in the Office of Corporate Partnerships at The Ohio State University. As a key member of the leadership team, his work defines the role and function of the Ohio Innovation Exchange - http://ohioinnovationexchange.org - for the Ohio Department of Higher Education. His current focus is on building a sustainable future for this research expertise and analytics platform. He was also a key contributor to the Ohio Means Internships grant funded program which focused on creating new internships/coops to build Ohio's workforce. These programs speak to his versatility to work across the university and with the business community. Previously, he was responsible for research development and leading new strategic initiatives at The Ohio State University. Jeff has 30 plus years of experience in higher education and consulting with business, industry, and non-profit organizations. In this role he worked with researchers to identify and develop teams for interdisciplinary research opportunities. He also developed a research leadership academy to build the next generation of research leaders. He has been recognized for expertise in training and facilitation for both technical and personal/professional development programs.