State grant supports local manufacturing partnership to spur growth and innovation
UNIVERSITY PARK — An Innovation Park business's partnership with Penn State is getting a boost from a state grant program designed to connect manufacturing companies and research institutions with the goal of spurring innovation and economic growth.
Penn State and Morgan Advanced Materials received the $69,558 grant through the Manufacturing PA fellowship program, state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, said in a news release.
"This program embeds the state’s best and brightest undergraduate and graduate students with area manufacturers," according to the news release. "Once paired, the students begin working on research projects to develop new technologies and advance innovation."
The Penn State-Morgan project will research optimization of graphene types and manufacturing methods for resin-bonded composites used industrially.
"Research will help improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon footprint, and reduce the friction and energy losses, as well as component longevity and performance in a wide range of commercial products manufactured in Pennsylvania," the project description states.
Morgan Advanced Materials is a U.K.-based global engineering and research firm that works with carbon and ceramic materials to develop products for a broad spectrum of industries. Its partnership with Penn State dates back to 2016 when they announced plans for the Carbon Science Center for Excellence at Innovation Park.
The new 30,000-square foot facility opened at 310 Innovation Boulevard in November and is ultimately expected to create up to 30 high-tech jobs. It is focused on carbon research and technologies for industries and engineering applications such as aerospace, healthcare, transportation and power generation.
The Manufacturing PA initiative was developed under Gov. Tom Wolf to foster collaboration across the commonwealth, encourage innovation, advance technology and develop higher paying job opportunities for the 21st century workforce.
A total of 26 projects involving 11 universities were awarded $1.7 million in grants through the program to advance innovation in several sectors, including advanced medical, consumer goods and energy.
“These partnerships foster lasting, productive relationships between our universities and the business community, positioning our state to be a leader in manufacturing,” Conklin said. “Students will receive valuable career experience, and companies – like Morgan Advanced Materials and Technology – will also benefit from the students’ research in innovation and technology.”