Ohio needs to significantly invest and innovate so it can grow and thrive, a business-led group says.

The danger to not acting quickly risks placing Ohio at a severe economic disadvantage in upcoming years as other states innovate and pull ahead with more competitive workforces and industries, according to the group’s in-depth report.

The report, Ohio BOLD: A Blueprint for Accelerating the Innovation Economy, was released Wednesday by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation and research and analysis firm Teconomy Partners LLC.

Ohio has “pockets of success” but the state needs to do much better and at a much quicker pace to turn innovation into economic growth, they said.

“We want to raise the entire state,” said Katie Koglman, executive director of the chamber research foundation.

“Generally speaking, we’re not moving as fast as we want to be, or should be,” said Brian Hicks, president of the research foundation’s board and one of the authors. “This is ambitious, which is why we’re calling it Ohio BOLD.”

A main goal is to get the state’s top policy makers and political leadership, no matter who is elected into office in November, to rally around the group’s findings and take action. The authors recently presented their plan to the staff of Ohio’s two major gubernatorial candidates before going public with the report.

The group spent months talking with numerous people around Ohio and pored over economic data to identify and analyze trends before coming up with recommendations.

Ohio’s economy is growing, but not as quickly as other peer states, Hicks and others said.

That results in:

• Slower population growth

• Slower growth in income and wages

• Increased poverty

• An aging and nondiverse population.

A fast-paced statewide approach is needed to make things better and to attract and retain young, talented people and vibrant businesses, the Ohio BOLD authors said.

Ohio needs to build on its strengths and invest in four key areas, or platforms, the group said:

• Next generation manufacturing.

• Innovative health care.

• Smart infrastructure, including driverless vehicles.

• Data analytics.

Failure to advance what the group calls “the four innovation platforms” will hurt Ohio in upcoming years, they said.

The group calls for the creation of four statewide innovation hubs, funded in part by taxpayers and in part by the private sector, to address the platforms.

In particular, Ohio manufacturing and production industries need to innovate because they are especially vulnerable to disruption by new technologies and automation and represent a sizable portion of the state’s industry strength, according to the report

Modern, innovative health care will improve Ohio’s quality-of-life attractiveness, while smart infrastructure leadership is key in branding the state’s future attractiveness, the report said.

Ohio is behind other regions in realizing long-term success is tied to the importance of a data analytics talent base to improve business intelligence and insights, the report said.

“We think data analytics is driving a lot of the innovation economy,” Hicks said.

While the report doesn’t put a specific price tag on how to achieve key goals, the cost to achieve the four key goals won’t be cheap, Hicks said. A similar effort in smaller Massachusetts calls for spending as much as $1 billion over 10 years, he and the report authors said.

“$50 million, $100 million won’t be big enough to have an impact,” Hicks said. “We think there is a price tag for not doing it.”

The full report can be found online at http://ohiochamberfoundation.com/about/ohio-bold/

Reporter Jim Mackinnon covers business and county government. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ