The OFRN's research projects create jobs and commercialize technology in and for Ohio 

The Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) projects are aligned with federal requirements; have a clear path to job creation; capitalize on Ohio’ investment involving multiple Ohio research universities and firms who provide cost share to further leverage the Ohio investment; and attract other Department of Defense and industry funding in Ohio.

Each OFRN research project goes through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process where it is thoroughly vetted by the OFRN Technical Advisory Counsel and Federal partners from NASA Glenn Research Center (NASA GRC), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) and the Naval Aerospace Medical Unit – Dayton (NAMRU-D); and are approved by the OFRN Executive Advisory Board before submitted for final approval by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.   

OFRN is not an investment fund. The bulk of OFRN financial resources are entrusted by The Ohio Legislature and are earmarked for various projects identified by OFRN partners and collaborators.


The OFRN Centers of Excellence (research projects, funding rounds 1 & 2) 

The OFRN research Centers of Excellence (COE) were developed after thorough review of the strategic plans and priority planning documents of the Air Force, DOD, NASA-GRC and State of Ohio as well as through an iterative review and briefings on federal requirements provide by AFRL, NASIC, NAMRU-D, and NASA-GRC. COE lead universities were selected based on their technical expertise and existing customer relationships. COE led projects were designed to build collaborative partnerships among leading Ohio-based public and nonprofit research organizations, forward thinking businesses and the Federal Laboratories in the following areas:​ 

  • Communications, Cyber, Position, Navigation, and Timing (C2PNT)​ 

  • Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR)​ 

  • Ohio Center for Power & Propulsion​ 

  • Energy Storage & Integration​ 

  • Human Performance & Health Sciences​ 

  • Materials & Manufacturing​ 

Each COE has developed proposals for research projects that have been reviewed and prioritized by AFRL, NASIC, NASA-GRC, and NAMRU-D. In addition, the COEs have developed Ohio industrial partners that will accelerate the transition and commercialization of the research projects to the Department of Defense and NASA missions.  


The OFRN Sustaining Ohio’s Aeronautical Readiness and Innovation in the Next Generation (SOARING) Initiative  (research projects, funding rounds 3 & 4)

SOARING funding leverages Ohio’s unique aerospace assets to assist recipients in overcoming critical technical barriers and business challenges to enable more widespread adoption of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the national aerospace. This milestone is a major move for OFRN in its mission to improve the state’s innovation economy through R&D and to lead the nation within the UAS market by supporting collaborative arrangements among businesses, academia and the federal laboratories. The development and manufacturing areas are:​ 

  • Personal Air Vehicles (PAVs)​ 

  • Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)​ 

  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)​ 

  • Heavy-lift Logistics Delivery Vehicles (LDAVs) 

  • Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing Vehicles (eVTOLs) 


The OFRN SOARING Initiative  (research projects, funding round 5)

The OFRN Round 5 SOARING initiative seeks to fund projects that align with needs identified by its federal, state, and commercial stakeholders. Broadly, these relate to performance, safety, and Federal Aviation Administration flight certification across diverse classes, target applications and technology domains. The federal partners spent considerable time developing and refining the Areas of Interest (AOIs). The focus was on fewer, higher priority research needs and topics that had cross-organizational interest/application. This enables maximum impact of OFRN investment by the federal partners. OFRN Round 5 AOIs include:

  • Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)​ 

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Human Factors

  • Data Analytics

  • Space Commercialization

  • Quantum Communication

  • Advanced Power Systems


​​​​​​​Check out our project portfolio below:


The Ohio Federal Research Network infographic.

This infographic illustrates each of the OFRN-funded research projects to date and where they align in application. You can download this interactive PDF, here


The Ohio Federal Research Network research projects infographic