Thanks in part to support from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the University of Georgia will create a New Materials Innovation Center, which will fulfill the local and regional need for a large-scale testing facility for new materials being developed by entrepreneurs, startups and researchers.
UGA is one of 35 organizations selected from a pool of more than 215 applicants to receive funding through the Economic Development Administration's Regional Innovation Strategies program. The i6 Challenge award of nearly $500,000 will be matched by UGA to create the new facility.
"The RIS program advances innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country by addressing two essential core components that entrepreneurs need to take their ideas to market: programmatic support and access to capital," said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
"The establishment of the New Materials Innovation Center highlights the importance of federal investment in research," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. "This center also exemplifies the University of Georgia's commitment to improving health, security, sustainability and economic vitality. It will strengthen existing partnerships while creating new opportunities for students, faculty, entrepreneurs and industry."
The NMIC will provide equipment and facilities focused on the design and large-scale testing of new materials, including advanced textiles, plastics and coating technologies.