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July 18, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Launch Tennessee endorses five Tech Hubs proposals

Each proposal represents the strengths of the respective region that is submitting the application to the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Launch Tennessee has announced that the organization has endorsed five proposals from various parts of the state that will be submitted under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s “Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs” program.

Commonly referred to as Tech Hubs, Congress enacted the program as part of the “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022,” authorized the program at $10 billion, and provided $500 million to launch the first round of awards. Application deadline is August 15. The goal of the program is to ensure that the industries of the future – and their good jobs – start, grow, and remain in the U.S.

“I am thrilled to recognize these five proposals, which are uniquely reflective of the dynamic strengths of their respective regions,” said Lindsey Cox, Launch Tennessee Chief Executive Officer. “LaunchTN is fully committed to nurturing these tech hubs with our existing resources and is dedicated to driving the advancement of these proposals.”

The proposals, in geographic order, are:

  • One from Chattanooga focused on quantum computing. The primary contact is Ellis Smith, Director of Special Projects with the City of Chattanooga. Other partners include the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), CO.LAB, EPB, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, University of Tennessee (UT) at Chattanooga, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Qubitekk, Brickyard Ventures, IonQ, Southeast Tennessee Development District, Urban League of Chattanooga, and IBEW Local 175.
  • One from Knoxville focused on advanced nuclear energy. The primary contact is Tracy Boatner, President of the East Tennessee Economic Council. Other participants include UT, Knoxville; UT Research Foundation; TVA; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; City of Knoxville; East Tennessee Development District; Knoxville Chamber of Commerce; and Boston Government Services.
  • One from Memphis on supply chain and logistics. The primary contact is Gwyn Fisher, Chief Economic Development Officer with the Greater Memphis Chamber. Other consortium members include the City of Memphis, University of Memphis, FedEx / DataWorks, Dunavant Enterprises, Ookla, Epicenter Memphis, Start Co., Code Crew, River City Capital, City of West Memphis, Arkansas Economic Development Corporation, and UT.
  • One from Nashville focused on data storage and management in the life sciences. The primary contact is Michael Skipper, Executive Director of the Greater Nashville Regional Council. Other partners are Blacks in Technology, Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Fisk University, Global Action Platform, Greater Nashville Technology Council, Life Science Tennessee, Meharry Medical College, Metropolitan Government of Nashville-Davidson County, Nashville Bioscience, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Health Care Council, Nashville State Community College, Northern Middle Tennessee Workforce Board, Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • One from Northeast Tennessee focused on synthetic biology. The point of contact is Eric Jorgenson, Vice President of Biomanufacturing Development at East Tennessee State University ‘s Research Corporation. Other consortium members include East Tennessee State University, Sync Space, Niswonger Foundation, BioBuilder Foundation, BAE Systems, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, BioMADE, MicroByre, Ballad Health Systems, Bank of Tennessee, RC Content Studios, Crown Laboratories, Tennessee Hills, and Northeast State Community College.

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