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Federal grant to aid MSU construction of advanced technology institute

Photo by News Mississippi

A $1.8 million federal grant announced by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran will help fund a new research facility at Mississippi State University.

The Economic Development Administration award will provide a new building for MSU’s Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies, also known as I2AT. EDA operates within the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

To be located in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, I2AT will expand on its already successful mission to provide researchers on campus and in industry access to a wide range of microscopy and microanalysis capabilities. These resources include light, confocal, atomic force and electron, as well as magnetic resonance imaging used in such fields as advanced manufacturing, veterinary medicine, agriculture, cognitive science and medical systems.

David Shaw, MSU vice president for research and economic development, said, “Industries in our state and beyond will benefit greatly from the help this new facility will provide in solving many technically challenging problems they face. The university thanks the EDA, Sen. Cochran and Commerce Secretary Ross for helping us meet this critical need.”

Along with materials testing, I2AT aids quality control departments in mitigating the high cost of equipment ownership and supports research and development of infrastructure.

“Looking ahead, we know that I2AT’s research capabilities in this innovative building will enhance our partnerships with industry across the region and, at the same time, enrich the research experiences of the university’s faculty and students,” Shaw said.

I2AT is part of the organizational structure of MSU’s Institute for Computational Research in Engineering and Science or ICRES. ICRES serves as a center of excellence for research, technology and education, which addresses challenges facing the nation’s industrial base and utilizes high-performance computational resources and innovative analytical tools for modeling, simulation and experimentation.

“This is an exciting investment in scientific research through education and workforce development in Mississippi. I thank Secretary Ross and the Economic Development Administration for recognizing the value in Mississippi State University’s efforts to promote innovation and economic growth,” Cochran said.

“This project is the product of local leaders’ efforts to generate greater economic opportunities in Mississippi,” said Commerce Secretary Ross. “The new Analytical Center for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis will boost the state’s competitiveness by providing regional businesses with the support they need to grow while simultaneously delivering the critical workforce training necessary to help them thrive.”

Governor Phil Bryant said, “This will strengthen Mississippi’s status as a leader in economic development, and will advance the great work being done at the Thad Cochran, Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, whose namesake has devoted his life to making our state stronger.

“I have shared numerous times with Secretary Ross that Mississippi is well-positioned to compete and win in the global marketplace, and I am grateful to him and the U.S. Economic Development Administration for recognizing that,” Bryant said.

The Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park is operated by a university affiliate, the Research and Technology Corporation, a nonprofit company that facilitates relationships between the university, researchers, and public and private partners.

Following the announcement, Governor Bryant posted a message to his Facebook page in support of the development.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will invest almost $2 million in Mississippi State University‘s Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, whose namesake has dedicated his life to making our state stronger.

The investment will promote innovation and economic growth in Mississippi. As I have shared with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross many times, we are serious about competing and winning in the global marketplace. Thanks to Secretary Ross for recognizing that, and to all involved in making this a reality. #MississippiProud


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