The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) is seeking ways to increase its revenue through contracts, grants and other support.
Since the nonprofit group was started in 2008, the institute has secured $63.8 million in financial support and pledges through 2014.
But the institute is looking for opportunities to land more federal grants, earn money through product development, secure additional donations and attract companies that will pay for its services, said Dr. Frank L. Douglas, the institute’s president and chief executive.
“Sustainability is a major issue,” Douglas said.
According to institute officials, major sources of revenue for the institute and its initiatives at partner institutions include:
• $20 million from 2008 through 2014 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
• $9.1 million and $10.9 million of in-kind support, spread between 2009 and 2013, from the five founding partners: the University of Akron, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Akron Children’s Hospital and Akron General and Summa health systems.
• $10 million from FirstEnergy for energy-efficiency initiatives.
• $4 million in federal grants.
• $8 million in state grants.
• $180,000 from local foundations.
• $147,000 from national foundations.
• $833,419 in fees collected for services.
• $665,000 from other sources, including industry partnerships, private donations, events and interest income.
In a prepared statement, the institute said: “ABIA has contractual agreements with its founding members through the end of 2014. With that in mind, we are progressing toward our strategic goal of fostering sustainability through diversified revenue streams such as company creations, licensing agreements, training, partnerships, fee for service, consulting, technical and commercialization expertise, prototyping and other offerings.”
The institute’s expenses were $1.8 million in 2009, its first full year of operation, according to its annual federal filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Expenses increased to $10.7 million in 2010. Estimated expenses for 2011 were $8 million.
In the end, Douglas said, the nonprofit institute is a community asset.
“The community should own this institute,” Douglas said.