ASSETS :: EMERGING ASSETS | TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION
CHATTANOOGA'S ELECTRIC POWER BOARD
In October of 2009, Chattanooga's Electric Power Board was awarded $111 million in stimulus funds to speed the production of a smart grid. The original plan predicted a 10- year building period, but with stimulus funding, the project is expected to be completed in the next three years. It will be one of the largest municipal smart grids in the country, servicing more than 170,000 households in southern Tennessee and northern Georgia. More than 600 utility providers competed for this grant.
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
The University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga has been very active in establishing a medical research center in collaboration with entities such as the University of Tennessee Health Center, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and local health insurance companies. The research center will focus on several areas of healthcare, such as the rehabilitative care of trauma victims, rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries and developmental disabilities, medical care of the geriatric population, emergency medicine, pharmaceutical clinical trials, health performance and disease prevention, primary care, and general and specialty surgery. The department is lead by award-winning physicians and doctors with a wealth of experience.
TENNESSEE BIOTECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION
The Tennessee Biotechnology Association recognizes Chattanooga as a prime location for innovation in biotechnology and the life sciences. Chattanooga State Technical Community College has a new pharmacy technology program as well as an allied health program. Examples of research and development facilities in biotechnology include the Chattanooga Health and Performance Institute at UT-Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Neurological Center at Erlanger Medical Center.
Chattanooga nano-fiber company eSpin Technologies Inc. was recently awarded a $3 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department to add to its manufacturing capacity. eSpin's grant application was selected as one of 20 award winners out of an applicant pool of more than 3,000. According to a press release, this award will allow the company to double its current staff while providing funding for engineering efforts that aim to scale up manufacturing processes for producing commercial quantities of self-supporting, non-woven fabrics of both carbon and activated carbon nanofibers. These fabrics have a wide range of potential applications, including filtration, lightweight carbon-fiber composite materials, and energy storage devices such as fuel cell batteries. The project is expected to last for three years.
GEORGIA AUTO ALLEY
Auto Alley in Georgia is a training program designed to give workers in a 13-county region the skills required to fill job demands in the automotive industry. One of the goals of this program is to create "Work Ready" communities, which is achieved once a certain percentage of residents have earned Work Ready Certificates. The region’s proximity to Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant and other assembly plants in Georgia and throughout the Southeastern United States puts them in an advantageous position to compete in the area of automotive part manufacturing and supply.