The Georgia AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility and Technology Corridor project “GA-AIM,” led by Georgia Tech was named one of sixty regional coalition finalists for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge administrated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
In a statement prepared by the Georgia Institute of Technology, the grant will be used for technical assistance to create the Georgia Artificial Intelligence Manufacturing Corridor (GA-AIM). Led by Thomas Kurfess and Aaron Stebner in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and in collaboration with local partners, GA-AIM will fill existing technology gaps and build a technological opportunity framework that includes underrepresented communities and rural Georgia counties, and better secure the state’s manufacturing infrastructure.
Georgia Tech’s partners in the effort include the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, Spelman College, the Technical College System of Georgia, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
According to an EDA press release, the sixty regional coalitions will each compete for up to $100 million in the American Rescue Plan Funding to rebuild America’s communities The finalists – each a coalition of partnering entities – have proposed projects that will develop or scale industry sectors, develop and train the workforce of today, and build resilient economies. Finalists will now compete for Phase 2 of the Challenge, which will award 20-30 regional coalitions up to $100 million.
The GA-AIM project was chosen from a pool of 529 applicants and will receive a grant of approximately $500,000 to develop the proposed project further. These grants will help the finalists take their projects to the next level and position those who ultimately do not receive Phase 2 implementation awards to find new partners and sources of funding.
The Phase II matching funds for the $30 million GA-AIM project will include GA State (GDEcD, TCSG, $2M) and Georgia Tech investments in this program (valued at $5M) such as Career Grants, Technology Incubation Grants, providing leadership and staff salaries and benefits toward this program, facility investments, capital planning, and management for the AMPF renovation. Additionally, an Industry cost share of $8M will complete the application matching fund requirement.
“We are thrilled to help communities work together—in coalitions of government, nonprofits, academia, the private sector, and others—to craft ambitious and regionally unique plans to rebuild their communities,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development in a prepared statement. “These projects will help revitalize local economies and tackle our biggest challenges related to climate change, manufacturing, supply chains, and more. EDA is proud to ignite these plans and help communities nationwide build back better.”