Warren's Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Warren's Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center

WARREN, Ohio- The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren is moving from concept to reality.  The goal is to put the Valley in the forefront of alternative energy development.  Local leaders took a tour of the center's new headquarters on Courthouse Square on Wednesday.

To the average person the building may be just a run down former department store, but to the people behind the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center this building is the future. 

Congressman Tim Ryan says, "People all over the world are trying to figure out how we're going to be able to keep our energy supply at the levels we have now with billions of more people living in the world.  The communities that are aggressive in trying to figure that our are going to be the communities that create jobs in the future."

The tech center will eventually house start up businesses looking for a place to test their ideas and get help with everything from raising capital to attracting talented employees.  But not just anyone will be able to set up shop here.  Entrepreneurs will have to prove they have a viable idea for alternative energy products.  Ted Theofrastous with Nortech says, "You'd have to show that you had the potential to be successful.  It would be a combination just like any investor would look for."

Ultimately if things go well the ideas born and tested here will make their way out into the world.  Warren Mayor Michael O'Brien says, "They'll be able to grow their ideas, go to commercialization and ultimately manufacturing and it will start right down here in downtown Ohio."

The first phase of the center will include meeting space, offices, labs and a roof top test area.The renovations will be paid for with a 2.2 million dollar federal grant. 

If all goes according to plan the center will open by the end of the year.

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