NineSigma Awarded $2 Million Grant to Help Catalyze the Growth of Ohio's Middle Market Companies The Ohio Third Frontier Makes NineSigma's Open Innovation Services Accessible to Mid-sized Businesses in the State of Ohio

CLEVELAND, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NineSigma, Inc., of Cleveland, the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide, has been chosen by the State of Ohio to help catalyze the growth of middle market companies throughout the region. NineSigma has been awarded a grant of more than $2 million to accelerate the adoption of open innovation among Ohio companies between $10 Million and $1 Billion in revenues. The Ohio Third Frontier Open Innovation Incentive is aimed at fostering collaboration that will lead to job creation and keep Ohio on the forefront of discovery.  

"The Ohio Third Frontier Commission recognizes innovation is critical to Ohio's future and is committed to assisting Ohio companies in bringing valuable new Ohio technologies, products, and services to market faster," said Christiane Schmenk, Director of the Ohio Department of Development and Chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. "NineSigma has the expertise in open innovation that we look for to help middle market companies take their ideas to the next level."

"As an Ohio-based company, we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to help fuel economic development in our own backyard. Middle market companies are a vital part of the innovation marketplace, and we are committed to working with our Ohio peers to capitalize on emerging market needs and build competitive advantage on the national and global level," said Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma.

Open innovation involves "looking to the outside" for technologies, solutions, and ideas to accelerate the development of new products and increase speed to market. NineSigma's unique open innovation approach of "Reach, Find, Filter, Focus" starts with articulating the middle market company's ("solution seeker") need in a way that greatly expands the potential for solutions and enables cross-industry, cross-discipline connections. NineSigma will work closely with solution seekers to create custom networks of innovation providers to find viable solutions and filter responses for quality and fit to ensure the best solutions are acquired. The State will assist solution seekers by funding a portion of the transactional costs of engaging open innovation intermediaries, and will sponsor a series of forums to provide education and assistance to companies interested in participating in the Open Innovation Incentive.  

"This forward-looking program has the potential to become a model for growing the national economy, state by state. We're thrilled to play a significant role and help expand the practice of open innovation across industry segments," added Mr. Zynga.

About NineSigma
NineSigma connects organizations with external innovation resources to accelerate innovation in private, public and social sectors. The company provides open innovation services to organizations worldwide, including Kraft, Philips, Siemens, and Unilever, to solve immediate challenges, integrate new knowledge, close development gaps, fill product pipelines, and stay ahead of the competition. Their proprietary, collaborative process has produced billions of dollars in value. NineSigma has the largest open global network of solution providers and an extensive database of existing solutions spanning industries and technical disciplines. Launched in 2012, NineSigma's online innovation community, NineSights, is the world's first open innovation social media destination, connecting innovators of all sizes with resources and relationships to drive growth. Learn more at www.ninesigma.com and www.ninesights.com.

About Ohio Third Frontier
The Ohio Third Frontier is an unprecedented and bipartisan commitment to create new technology-based products, companies, industries, and jobs, has attracted more than $7.3 billion in other investments to Ohio, and has a nearly 9:1 return on investment since its inception. The Ohio Third Frontier has also assisted in the creation and retention of more than 88,000 direct and indirect jobs for Ohioans. For more information, visit ohiothirdfrontier.com. For more information on Ohio's entrepreneurship activities, visit www.hivelocitymedia.com.

Media Contact: 
Dawn Ringel, Warner Communications, dawn@warnerpr.com, (781) 449-8456

SOURCE NineSigma, Inc.



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