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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2017-09-26 13:05:59
  • Article ID: 681811

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests in Entrepreneurship Efforts at UTEP and El Paso County

  • Rendering of the Technology Research Innovation Acceleration Park (tRIAC) in Fabens.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that UTEP has been awarded a $500,000 grant to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

“The engineering program at The University of Texas at El Paso is part of a powerful partnership across our region to advance efforts in the aerospace, manufacturing and energy sectors,” said Theresa Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering. “Project lead Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri is a tireless and very effective strategist and leader in these areas of high importance to El Paso and the United States.”

The EDA grant money will be matched by UTEP for a total investment of $1 million and will go toward the development of the Technology Research Innovation Acceleration Park (tRIAC) in Fabens. The University partnered with the County of El Paso on the venture and announced efforts for the area adjacent to the airport in fall 2016.

“This validates UTEP’s future pathway, its impact on the community,” said Ahsan Choudhuri, Ph.D., director of the NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research and tRIAC project lead. “What we envisioned last year is happening. This will help us in building capacity as we prepare for future construction.”

Renovation at the site started in April 2017 in an existing hangar. In recent weeks, students began working in the facility, and the interior of the hangar is taking shape. Once complete, tRIAC will consist of multiple sites, including a test site and data center, a rocket tower and incubator facilities for small businesses.

“The Commissioners Court is proud of our partnership with UTEP to utilize our Fabens airport as a Technology Research and Innovation Acceleration Park,” said El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar. “Not only is this expanding our region’s STEM education opportunities but also building economic development capacity. This grant will expand the tRIAc’s ability to create high-tech and innovative-based small business capacity in aerospace/defense technologies, advanced manufacturing, and energy engineering in an area of our community that hasn’t seen this type of investment. We have no doubt this is the first of many grants to come which will help further expand upon this exciting collaboration.”  

Forty-two organizations – including nonprofits, institutions of higher education and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states – received over $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through RIS.

This fourth cohort of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to eight new states and continues to build vibrant regional entrepreneurial economies. The awardees were selected from a pool of more than 217 applicants.

“The Trump Administration is committed to strengthening U.S. production and exports, which are essential to our nation’s economic growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These projects will enable entrepreneurs in communities across the United States to start new businesses, manufacture innovative products and export them throughout the world – increasing America’s global competitiveness.”

The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), leads the Regional Innovation Strategies Program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. The program is authorized through the America COMPETES reauthorization Act of 2010, and has received dedicated appropriations since FY2014.

To learn more about the Regional Innovation Strategies program and the awardee projects, visit eda.gov and the FAQs.  

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US Dept. Of Energy Grant to Advance Combined Heat and Power Systems in the Midwest

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a five-year, $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help industrial, commercial, institutional and utility entities evaluate and install highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) technologies.CHP, also known as cogeneration, is a single system that produces both thermal energy and electricity.

Applications Open: ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship 2018-2019

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Successful Startup Founder to Lead Entrepreneurship Program at Argonne

John Carlisle has been named the director of Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), a program aimed at accelerating job creation through innovation, based at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

Department of Energy Supports Argonne Nuclear Technologies

This fall, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced nearly $4.7 million in funding for the department's Argonne National Laboratory across 16 projects in three divisions. Four of those TCF awards, representing more than $1 million in funds, are slated for Argonne's Nuclear Engineering division.

Southern Research Develops Gasifier Technology to Unlock Coal's Potential

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CEBAF Begins Operations following Upgrade Completion

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Chory and Walter Awarded Breakthrough Prizes

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Shantenu Jha Named Chair of Brookhaven Lab's Center for Data-Driven Discovery

Jha--a computational scientist who holds a joint appointment as an associate professor at Rutgers University--will lead a center that provides the focal point for data science research and development.

Five Brookhaven Lab Scientists Named 2017 American Physical Society Fellows

Anatoly Frenkel, Morgan May, Rachid Nouicer, Eric Stach, and Peter Steinberg were recognized for their outstanding contributions to astrophysics, materials physics, and nuclear physics.

Argonne Appoints Chief of Staff

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Underappreciated Microbes Now Get Credit for Holding Down Two Jobs in Soil

Soil microbes work as both decomposers and synthesizers of carbon compounds in soil, offering new answers with impacts to crops and eco-health.

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Scientists reduce uncertainties in future climate prediction by directly coupling an energy-economy model to an Earth system model.

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Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) observations provide clues on atmospheric contributions to an Antarctic melt event.

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Highest concentration and yield of valuable chemicals reported in industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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