Canon, Cleveland Clinic form partnership

A potential landing spot for Canon Healthcare is the vacant but still-new former IBM Explorys building at East 105th Street and Cedar Avenue. The building is owned by Geis Companies and the land owned by Cleveland Clinic. The site has been rumored to be of interest by the newly established Canon Healthcare USA (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Canon-Clinic research to be in existing building

Global imaging giant Canon Inc. and the locally based yet global Cleveland Clinic Foundation today announced their intentions to form a strategic research partnership to develop imaging and healthcare information technologies to improve patient diagnosis, care and outcomes. The announcement, initiated by Canon, publicly reveals the first tangible development in nearly a year since the company said it had created a U.S. healthcare subsidiary Canon Healthcare USA Inc. and would locate its headquarters in Greater Cleveland.

The center will be part of the Cleveland Innovation District, a more than $500 million public-private partnership that brings the State of Ohio and JobsOhio together with Cleveland’s healthcare and higher education institutions to accelerate research, create jobs and educate the workforce of the future. The potential synergy with the Cleveland Innovation District was one factor which attracted the Japanese company to launch Canon Healthcare USA and locate it on Cleveland’s east side, Canon officials said. Canon said it intends to invest $300 million to develop its healthcare subsidiary.

But today’s announcement was silent on the specific location for a headquarters or for where the shared research facilities would be put. A press release noted that “the two organizations expect to establish a comprehensive imaging research center” and that “the center will potentially include shared workspace in an existing building in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood, adjacent to Cleveland Clinic’s main campus.”

“No specifics yet on the building,” said Joe Milicia, director of public relations and communications for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in an e-mail to NEOtrans.

The area to the east of the Opportunity Corridor-East 105th Street and south of Cedar Avenue is reportedly where Canon Healthcare USA anticipates developing its headquarters, research center and manufacturing facilities. This type of activity was identified a decade ago in long-range planning for a district called Innovation Square east of East 105th where numerous homes are being razed. A mostly residential New Economy Neighborhood is under construction west of East 105th (Fairfax Renaissance).

A strong candidate for that existing building is the former IBM Explorys headquarters, 10500 Cedar Ave. Rumors have swirled for several years that Canon has had its eyes on the Opportunity Corridor for its major foray into the medical imaging field. And the only existing building in the Innovation District at the east end of Fairfax that’s available for a strategic expansion is the former IBM Explorys building that was vacated during the pandemic. IBM continues a decade-long partnership with the Cleveland Clinic to speed up scientific discoveries by deploying a quantum computer at the Discovery Accelerator. That program is located in the Clinic’s Lerner Research Center, 9620 Carnegie Ave.

Explorys was a Cleveland Clinic spinoff formed in 2009 to develop a secure software platform for healthcare systems to manage large volumes of data. IBM acquired Explorys in 2015 and relocated the company from downtown Cleveland to its new building in Fairfax in 2018. The building’s mix of offices and labs measure 41,630 square feet. It was built and is still owned by Geis Companies of Cleveland and Streetsboro. The building sets on land owned by the Cleveland Clinic and is north of a former residential area that is being cleared of blighted homes by the city for future development.

With Canon Healthcare USA’s headquarters staffing expected to grow to 200 or more employees in a couple of years, the ex-IBM Explorys building may be too small to accommodate Canon’s headquarters. For now, it is temporarily located in a 140,000-square-foot office-warehouse facility at 6655 Beta Dr. in Mayfield Heights that was owned by the former Quality Electrodynamics LLC (QED) of Mayfield Village. QED was acquired by Canon in 2019 to give the imaging giant a foothold here. But the ex-IBM Explorys building is probably right-sized as a research center, according to a real estate insider who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“Under Canon’s ‘Made for Life’ philosophy, we are dedicated to improving the wellbeing of patients everywhere through our innovations in technology,” said Toshio Takiguchi, senior managing executive officer, head of Medical Group, Canon Inc., in a written statement. “This collaboration with Cleveland Clinic allows us to use our mutual strengths to enable a future that delivers on this promise.”

Looking north on East 105th Street at the north end of the Opportunity Corridor toward the former IBM Explorys building which is owned by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. At left in this September 2022 view is the under-construction Medley Apartments over a Meijer’s urban-format grocery store (Google).

Canon says its research initiative with the Clinic brings together a cross-institutional team of clinician scientists, researchers and engineers to pioneer state-of-the-art imaging technologies. Joint research projects will focus on cardiology, neurology and musculoskeletal medicine, and will have three major components – pre-clinical imaging, human imaging and image analysis. It will also enable local and global research collaborations.

“This unique collaboration leverages Cleveland Clinic’s expertise in biomedical research and clinical care with Canon’s global leadership in imaging innovation and precision manufacturing,” said Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, holder of the Morton L. Mandel CEO Chair. “By combining our strengths, we aim to create breakthroughs in imaging and work together to rapidly translate these innovations to improve patient care.”

Four years ago, a Cleveland City Hall source told NEOtrans that “a Japanese medical imaging company would move its research and manufacturing operations to Cleveland.” Back then, a review of news and developments in that field revealed Canon was the one making the big moves, including acquiring industry giant Toshiba Medical Systems just three years earlier for $6 billion. It renamed the Toshiba outfit as Canon Medical Systems.

The source said that the investments by the imaging company would ultimately deliver thousands of research and manufacturing jobs in the coming years and decades. Those jobs, the source said, would be focused on the Opportunity Corridor, a boulevard that opened in 2021 through Cleveland’s East Side and feeds into East 105th Street north of Quincy Avenue at the Red Line rail station.


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