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Cutting-Edge Carbon Science Center Opens at Innovation Park

by on November 15, 2018 2:00 PM

U.K.-based Morgan Advanced Materials on Thursday officially opened the doors to a new building at Innovation Park that will be home to its new Carbon Science Centre of Excellence (CoE) research and development facility.

The new, 30,000-square foot facility at 310 Innovation Boulevard is a collaboration with Penn State to develop carbon research and technologies for industries and engineering applications such as aerospace, healthcare, transportation and power generation.

Expected to create 15 to 30 high-tech jobs, the COE is Morgan's second such center in North America and the first global industrial partnership of Invent Penn State, the university's program to spur economic development, job creation and student career success by leveraging Penn State's resources and community and business collaborations.

“We’re incredibly proud to have launched this groundbreaking Centre of Excellence with Penn State," Mike Murray, Morgan's chief technical officer, said in a news release. "It marks an important milestone in both organizations’ history, as we both strive for excellence and understanding of the properties and uses of carbon."

Morgan decided to partner with Penn State because of the university's reputation as a world leader in carbon and materials science research and its collaborative approach to working with businesses. The COE brings together expertise and resources from both Morgan and Penn State, with researchers and students from the university and the company working to turn discoveries into viable commercial solutions.

“Our partnership with Morgan places us at the forefront of developing new methodologies in line with Morgan’s mission and values as well as our own," said Neil Sharkey, Penn State vice president for research. "Their existing expertise and insights will help our researchers and students turn new ideas into commercially viable solutions. The Centre itself is a huge attraction for other businesses to join the Innovation Park, furthering job creation and economic development in Pennsylvania.”

One of the key projects will be developing electrified rail products for a growing global market for environmentally clean public transportation options in expanding population centers.

“The work undertaken at our facility with Morgan will truly be revolutionary," Sharkey said. "The electrified rail carbon strips that Morgan is already working on, for example, will change how train transport works, making it safer, more reliable and decrease down time."

In addition to university research and facilities, State College also is in close proximity to Morgan manufacturing sites in Coudersport, St. Mary's, Latrobe, Wilkes-Barre, East Stroudsburg and Allentown.

Penn State and Morgan announced the project in 2016, and since then the two have already begun collaborating before the building opened.

"In addition to helping us to create world-leading materials, our partnership with Penn State also allows us to recruit some of the best talent in carbon science and provide unrivaled training to our technologists and engineers,” Morgan CEO Peter Raby said.

The new building has additional space for other research and development tenants. GLP Development, which also developed four other buildings at Innovation Park, led the building construction. It has flexible space for research and laboratories, offices and light assembly.

Design of the new building also is a first for Innovation Park. It has one floor but the exterior is 22 feet high, so it appears to be two stories. The building is 330 feet long along the boulevard and 90 feet deep.

Along with Penn State, Centre County, local municipalities, Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County and the Governor's Action Team also were instrumental in recruiting Morgan to partner with Penn State and develop the COE.

Clayco Inc. was contractor on the project, working with architect Forum Studios. CBRE Inc. was project manager and Sweetland Engineering & Associates, Barton Associates and Hope Furrer Associates were engineers. Leasing is being handled by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Building operations will be managed by Property Management, Inc..



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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