The deal was finalized as Mayor Don Plusquellic and other city officials met with a Chinese investment group in Hangzhou, China two weeks ago.
The good economic news comes as FMI Technologies, housed in the city's Global Business Accelerator, announced the $18 million infusion of capital from Chinese investors that will permit the firm to develop high-technology medical imaging devices in Akron's Biomedical Corridor.
"Usually, it takes years to develop relationships that result in this kind of investment," said Plusquellic. "In this case, with many parties working together, we were able to put together a deal in a period of 70 days."
Plusquellic attended the Shanghai Trade Show November 9-12, and made plans to meet with the Chinese investment group that expressed an interest in FMI.
"We needed to affirm the group's confidence in Akron as a site for their investment," said Plusquellic. "They were already impressed with FMI, its management, and its product line that will be sold around the world."
FMI President and CEO William McCroskey said that imaging devices will be made in Akron, and that he will use Akron area companies as suppliers whenever possible.
"It's important to me that we build the strength of our entire manufacturing base in this community," McCroskey said.
"When we go to trade shows around the world, we are always looking for manufacturing jobs," said Plusquellic. "Our strength remains advanced manufacturing of high technology devices, and that's what we sell - whether we are in Hannover or Dusseldorf, Germany, or Shanghai."
FMI announced the creation of a new company - FMI China, which will be headquartered in Akron, and managed by McCroskey.
While some imaging devices may eventually be made for the Chinese market in China, the high-tech "brains" of the imaging devices will only be manufactured in Akron.
China has more than 12,000 hospitals that will provide a ready market for the lower-cost, high-tech imaging device that brings together three separate technologies currently in use into a unique imaging system.
The company will also manufacture the devices in Akron for sale to the European market as well.
"I think that this may be the largest single investment made to a northeast Ohio company in the biomedical manufacturing business," said McCroskey, who also used the opportunity to announce that FMI had established relationships with several Ohio universities, and hospitals in Akron and Cleveland to create a new global center of imaging for heart, brain, breast, and bones.
It would complement work in orthopedics already underway at Akron's Austen BioInnovation Institute.