Funding Secured for Georgia Southern City Campus FabLab Equipment
The Business Innovation Group at Georgia Southern University is pleased to announce the receipt of funds from an Equity Award granted by the OneGeorgia Authority. OneGeorgia is a program that has merged with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs becoming a financial partner for economic development in Georgia. They recently announced their decision to grant a $500,000 OneGeorgia Equity Award for the advancement of workforce development in the Statesboro-Bulloch County region. The project, titled “Statesboro-Bulloch Regional Career and Workforce Initiative,” involves Georgia Southern University, the Development Authority of Bulloch County and Ogeechee Technical College. The grant will assist with the purchase of equipment, software, and machinery necessary to support economic growth and a work ready labor force; leveraging the expertise of Georgia Southern University and Ogeechee Technical College by supporting business startups and workforce training.
At City Campus, the funding received from the OneGeorgia Authority Equity Fund coupled with additional funds from Georgia Southern University will be used to secure computers, two types of 3-D printers, a mig welder, CNC plasma cutter, and other rapid prototyping equipment for the Innovation Incubator and Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab).
The programs in City Campus are coordinated by the Georgia Southern University Business Innovation Group (BIG) located in downtown Statesboro and encompass departments of the College of Business Administration, including the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development (BBRED), the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and the Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership (CELL). “This support will go a long way in helping us make the FabLab a reality,” said Dominique Halaby, director for the Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership. “The State’s investment is the perfect complement to investments already made by the City of Statesboro and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.”
The Innovation Incubator and FabLab is a joint venture between Georgia Southern University, the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, City of Statesboro, Statesboro Arts Council, and the Economic Development Administration. The project is associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) established Global FabLab Network. The incubator is designed to create sustainable jobs, increase the number of local businesses, and improve and diversify the economic drivers in coastal Georgia. Once completed, the FabLab and Incubator will serve the community as a hub for creativity and small business innovation. Citizens will be able to take their ideas from conception to prototype in one place.
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