U of L receives $2 million grant for minority-owned manufacturers to adopt new technology Wednesday, Nov 17 2021 

By The Louisville Cardinal Staff — 

Minority-owned manufacturing businesses will have help with cutting edge technology through a new program at U of L.  It will help them adopt additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology.

A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will create a Kentucky center.

“There’s huge economic potential in additive manufacturing,” said Sundar Atre, endowed chair of manufacturing and materials at U of L and a lead on the new grant. “I see the pathway to a multibillion-dollar economy built around this in Louisville — it’s not unrealistic. With this new program, we will work to make that ecosystem open to everyone.”

The new center will build on U of L’s Additive Manufacturing Institute of Science & Technology, housed in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. It dedicates 10,000 square feet to provide minority-owned manufacturing businesses with product design and technology support.

The institute has put a strong focus on helping manufacturers adopt disruptive technologies. It trains minority-owned businesses and recently launched a new program to provide small- and medium-sized manufacturers with training, mentorship and U of L-backed research, development and consulting.

“We know Kentucky’s manufacturing industry has a rich and proud history,” said Will Metcalf, associate vice president for research development and strategic partnerships in U of L’s Office of Research and Innovation, who leads the grant with Atre. “This is a chance to leverage U of L’s research strengths to empower manufacturers within our community to use this technology and engineer a future economy that’s built around disruptive, inclusive innovation.”

Companies can learn more and get involved by visiting the Kentucky MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center webpage.

Photo Courtesy // U of L News

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U of L researchers from various departments help combat COVID-19 Friday, Apr 3 2020 

–By Eli Hughes

The University of Louisville announced April 3 the actions its researchers are taking to respond to COVID-19, which includes actions from the school of medicine, the school of public health, the school of social work and J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

These U of L departments are manufacturing kits used in COVID-19 testing, manufacturing personal protective equipment, disinfecting N-95 masks and working on ways to contact trace the spread of the virus.

“There is an incredible amount of work and I am really proud of researchers we have here who have really responded incredibly well to this crisis and the need for all of these types of activities,” said Kevin Gardner, the executive vice president of research for U of L, in the April 3 U of L trustee’s meeting, which was held virtually.

The Speed School has partnered with the School of Medicine to create and distribute swab kits. The lack of these kits is a limiting factor to widespread COVID-19 testing, so U of L hopes that this contribution can make it possible to increase the amount of testing.

Researchers at the Speed School are also manufacturing face shields, which medical professionals can use to protect themselves when they are in contact with COVID-19 patients. These masks will be distributed not only to hospitals in Kentucky but across the country to places where the virus is spreading more rapidly such as New York.

U of L has also developed a process for sanitizing N-95 masks, which are the medical-grade masks that have been valuable resources since the beginning of this outbreak. Gardner has said their facilities will be able to sanitize 10,000 N-95 masks a day.

The Schools of Public Health and Social Work are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak by helping with contact tracing. This means they are helping identify who might have come into contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

This action can help prevent the spread of the virus by quickly isolating those who have been in contact with the virus.

More information on U of L’s research can be found on the U of L research website.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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