© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Nanotechnology business comes to Columbus

A leading nanotechnology production company is moving to a new facility in Columbus, bringing with it high paying jobs. Texas-based Zyvex Performance Materials, or ZPM, will occupy a former mattress factory on the west side of the Ohio State campus.

ZPM is in the business of carbon nanotubes. Nanotubes are invisibly small structures. They are 50 thousand times narrower than a human hair, but stronger than steel.

ZPM incorporates the nanotubes into materials like plastic. They make the plastic stronger without making it heavy. One current use is in sporting goods like golf clubs and baseball bats. The nanotube-laced polymers also have promise for defense, aeronautics, and medical applications.

ZPM co-founder David Heard is an OSU alumnus. He says other states and even countries courted ZPM, but that Columbus had everything the company was looking for.

"It wasn't just because of my beloved buckeye football team that we came here," he said. "We came here because of the right people, the right ecosystem, the right research."

The state of Ohio offered a 4 million dollar incentive package to ZPM. Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman says this is just the beginning of a high-tech boom in the central Ohio economy.

"This is one of the top growth industries in the entire globe located right here in Columbus," he said. "So bottom line what it means is jobs, jobs and more jobs."

Currently operating with a staff of 18, ZPM expects to hire 80 to 100 employees over the next 5 years.