MU/RCBI Receive EDA Funds to Support Advanced Manufacturing

Aug. 28, 2015

HUNTINGTON – The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $100,000 to Marshall University to promote economic development in West Virginia.

Funding for Marshall University’s EDA University Center enables the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) to expand the mission of its successful InnovateWV program by working to create a culture of commercialization, entrepreneurship and advanced innovation and skills training initiatives that serve 18 West Virginia counties.

InnovateWV empowers small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing them access to advanced technology and expertise so they can turntheir innovative ideas into reality, which helps create and encourage business opportunities, strengthen entrepreneurship, increase competitiveness as well as generate and diversify the economies in Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mason, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, Wayne, Webster and Wyoming counties.

“InnovateWV has provided important seed capital and technical assistance to entrepreneurs and manufacturers who have increased their productivity, invested in West Virginia, and/or enhanced their workplace skills levels,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director & CEO. “EDA is a federal partner that works hand in glove with RCBI and Marshall University as well as other federal agencies to help bolster our region’s economy by creating new opportunities for hard-working West Virginians.”

Since it began, the University Center initiative has resulted in private investment of nearly $3 million, skills training for 250 employees and the creation of 46 jobs.

Operating for more than 25 years as West Virginia’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, RCBI encourages job creation, economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting manufacturing technology. RCBI provides local access to leading-edge equipment, specialized training and electronic commerce assistance for everyone from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 companies so they can remain at the forefront of innovation in an increasingly global economy.