The Georgia Institute of Technology has received a $65 million grant from the U.S Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).
The grant aims to support a statewide initiative that combines artificial intelligence and manufacturing innovations with transformational workforce and outreach programs.
The award will also broaden employment and pay prospects for historically underrepresented and marginalised populations and rural and struggling communities.
The Georgia Artificial Intelligence Manufacturing Technology Corridor (GA-AIM) is among the 21 winning projects the White House has announced under the Biden administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The grant follows a $500,000 Phase 1 feasibility grant the project was given in 2021.
“Georgia Tech is honored to lead this vision of collaborative innovation and economic development across all regions of our state. This award underscores the Institute’s commitment to leverage our resources and expertise to address great challenges, serve our state and nation, and amplify our impact on the world,” Georgia Tech President Angel Cabrera said.
The AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility will enable government and industry pilot trials, cybersecurity games, and workforce training for AI manufacturing technologies. The university said that the facility is just one component of Georgia Tech’s support for the project.
The GA-AIM project lead, Aaron Stebner, has described the ability to integrate the team’s discoveries and innovations at the AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility with novel workforce programs and transformative outreach experiences as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Through an equitable AI manufacturing innovation focus, the assembled coalition of partners and stakeholders across the state will build a more prosperous and resilient Georgia and set a nation-leading example.”
A centre for commercialisation of AI manufacturing technologies in local and regional companies will be established by two of Georgia Tech’s commercialisation programs, VentureLab and I-Corps South, through training based on the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps curriculum.
Through its Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) and Georgia MBDA Business Center programmes, the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Tech’s economic development arm, will provide targeted outreach and technical assistance to small and mid-sized manufacturers and minority business enterprises.
“The work that we will accomplish with our broad spectrum of partners in this new endeavour will leverage the latest technology in artificial intelligence to grow and strengthen our workforce, ensuring that the growing manufacturing sector in Georgia has the skilled workforce that it requires for today’s as well as tomorrow’s needs,” Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Thomas R. Kurfess said.
Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute will research the effects of automation technologies, develop automation solutions specifically for rural manufacturers, and develop initiatives that will make it easier for those manufacturers to access the AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility.
Georgia Tech’s K-12 InVenture Prize and Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing will also establish supplemental lessons centred on AI and data science which will be a part of a K-12 InVenture Prize curriculum website.
“We are excited to be a part of this collaborative effort to catalyze research and innovation in AI and manufacturing across the state of Georgia. This project aligns with our goals to expand economic opportunity in our state’s underserved communities and to serve as a collaborative hub for interdisciplinary research that advances technology and improves people’s lives,” Georgia Tech Executive Vice President for Research Chaouki T. Abdallah said.