Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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April 04, 2024 | Tom Ballard

National Association of REALTORS® takes an interest in the “Tech Hubs” program

The article spotlights three of the 31 designees including one led by an individual with former ties to East Tennessee.

At first glance, it might seem odd, but the National Association of REALTORS® has taken an interest in the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) “Tech Hubs” program. After all, when you think of a realtor, you are probably thinking about a person who sells your home, but there are also those in the commercial real estate space, too.

Under the headline “Tech Hubs: Competitive Centers of Innovation Spark Economic Development,” the organization published an article that spotlighted three of the 31 regions that were designated as “Tech Hubs” last fall.

“This spring, up to 10 of these applicants will be awarded implementation grants of $40 million to $70 million,” the author noted in the article that spotlighted three of the 31. “Whether or not they receive implementation funding, these and other hubs will be worth keeping an eye on for associated commercial real estate opportunities in the coming months and years.”

And, just for good measure, one of the three spotlighted has former ties to East Tennessee. The Principal Investigator for the Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing Hub (iFAB) is Beth Conerty, Associate Director of Business Development at the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois (UI) Urbana-Champaign. A former Bredesen Center Fellow at what is now part of the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute, she also served as an Intern and later Program Lead for Entrepreneurial Support and Development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory before joining UI at the end of 2017.

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