Ohio State Receives $110 Million to Boost Software Innovation

The record-setting gift from the Timashev Family Foundation will be used to set up a software innovation center at Ohio State University.
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  • The Timashev Family Foundation gifted $110 million to Ohio State to create a new software innovation center.
  • The center will feature a collaboration between Ohio State’s business and engineering schools to offer hands-on training to students.
  • The software center will also fund internships and scholarships for students.
  • The $110 million is the largest single gift in Ohio State history.

Central Ohio is rapidly transforming into a hub for high-demand tech jobs — and a record-setting gift to Ohio State University could supercharge that transformation.

The $110 million gift from the Timashev Family Foundation is the largest single gift in Ohio State history, according to the university. It will go toward setting up a new software innovation center bringing together Ohio State’s College of Engineering and Fisher College of Business.

Ratmir Timashev, an Ohio State graduate and entrepreneur who founded Columbus-based IT company Vaeem Software, told the Board of Trustees that the software innovation center will make “Ohio State, Columbus and the Midwest the new high-tech Mecca.”

The center will aim to combine technical and business education, and also aim to accelerate software startups from across the world, Timashev said. He underscored the importance of software to every field, from medical research to electric vehicles.

“Every business is a software business,” Timashev said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s manufacturing, or banking, or government. All of the money in the next 50 years will be made in software. Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, quantum computers will change the world completely in the next five to ten years.”

The center will also feature a fund for student scholarships and internships, according to the university.

Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson described the gift as “transformational” for both students, faculty and the broader community.

Ohio's congressional delegation also weighed in on the gift.

“We know software innovation and development is central to the knowledge economy, and this endowment will create future opportunities for our students and faculty,” U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) said in a press release.

Rep. Mike Carey (R-OH) said in the release that the gift “recognizes the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship as we all work to grow Ohio’s technology workforce.”

The software innovation center was announced as Intel kicked off a $20 billion project to build semiconductor plants in central Ohio. The tech giant plans to invest roughly $100 million over the next 10 years to train workers in partnership with Ohio colleges. That investment is set to bring thousands of jobs to the region, many of which will be available with an associate’s degree.