The Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing Tech Hub (iFAB Tech Hub), led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, seeks to scale precision fermentation to convert underutilized corn feedstocks into high-value, customized alternative proteins, food ingredients, materials, chemicals, and more.
By leveraging its regional assets in corn and soy feedstocks, food processing infrastructure, and research leadership, this Tech Hub will provide a domestic biomanufacturing testbed through the development and deployment of multi-use pilot and demonstration capacity and equipment for biomanufacturing innovators while also training a skilled workforce.
The iFab consortium’s 30+ partners includes the University of Illinois Research Park as well as industry, higher education, workforce development agencies, agribusiness, and producers. Two of the private sector partners, ADM and Boston Bioprocess, have operations at Research Park. Another partner, gener8tor, leads the Illinois AgTech Accelerator.
The iFAB proposal, one of 400 received by EDA, was made public in August. Receiving the federal designation is an endorsement of the region’s plans to supercharge their respective technological industries to create jobs and promote innovation.
This is the first phase of the new Tech Hubs program, a development initiative created to strengthen U.S. economic and national security with investments in regions to become globally competitive in the technologies and industries of the future.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world. Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards.”
– U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo
The second phase will allow each designated hub to apply to receive between $40-70 million each for implementation funding, totaling $500 million.
iFAB seeks to scale precision fermentation to convert underutilized corn feedstocks into high-value, customized alternative proteins, food ingredients, materials, chemicals, and more.
To learn more, visit the iFAB website.