Dayton could be spearhead of another revolution, Sen. Portman says

The Dayton region was a “spearhead of the Industrial Revolution” and could once again be at the forefront of U.S. innovation through commercialization of technology developed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Research Laboratory, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said Monday to area business leaders.

“Today, Dayton is the spearhead of another revolution” that involves research and innovation in aerospace, bioscience and advanced manufacturing, said Portman, R-Ohio, the keynote speaker at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 annual meeting.

Portman said the challenge is to commercialize more of the federally funded research being developed at Wright-Patt by connecting it with the local private sector to spin off technologies.

“When I first got elected the theory was that about 90 percent of the research that was developed here was being commercialized on the West Coast or the East Coast. We want that to be developed right here in Dayton, and there has been a lot of progress made,” Portman said.

Innovation was a theme of the sold-out event, which attracted 500 chamber members and guests to the Sinclair Community College Conference Center in downtown Dayton.

Dan McCabe, CareSource chief administrative officer and the chamber’s 2015 board chair, announced a new benefit for member businesses through an affiliate partnership program with Google Maps photographers.

The program will bring Google Maps “Street View” virtual tour technology to participating businesses, creating 360-degree “walk-around” views both inside and outside the business establishment. The virtual tours will be published on Google Maps and the chamber’s new Virtual Business & Area Guide, and also can be embedded on the business’ website and Facebook page.

“This is a great opportunity for us to showcase any number of businesses,” said Phil Parker, the chamber’s president and chief executive. “If you want people to know where your business is, you’ve got to use technology. This is one of those new, innovative technologies that we are going to offer,” Parker said.

NONA Composites LLC received the 2015 Soin Award for Innovation, the chamber’s top award.

The Beavercreek-based process engineering firm was honored for its technology to produce high-performance composites without the large capital expense of autoclaves, ovens or heated tools to cure the material. NONA is an acronym for “no oven, no autoclave” composites.

Many companies have not pursued composite materials because they are complex, hard to manufacture and involve costly infrastructure, said Ben Dietsch, NONA Composites president. “Part of our innovation here is to try to break down those barriers and get more people into this,” Dietsch said.

The Soin Award is designed to identify, honor and financially assist a company in the Dayton region that demonstrates the historical innovative spirit of the community. The award includes a $25,000 cash prize. Other awards presented were:

• The John H. Patterson Corporate Partner Award was presented to the Dayton Dragons.

• The Jonathan Dayton Public Partner Award was presented to the City of Dayton Human Relations Council.

• Kenya Taylor of KeyBank was honored with the Ambassador of the Year award.

• Think Patented co-owner H.C. Niels Winther was named the chamber’s Volunteer of the Year.

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