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May 03, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Partner of two local organizations announces major cleantech expansion

Chicago-based mHUB, which is associated with UT's Spark Cleantech Accelerator, is acquiring and renovating an 80,000-square-foot facility to advance manufacturing and cleantech innovation in Illinois.

mHUB, a manufacturing and hardtech innovation center in Chicago that has affiliations with two area organizations, has announced a $50 million building acquisition and renovation project to advance manufacturing and cleantech innovation in Illinois.

The package includes $17.55 million in Tax Increment Finance funding from the City of Chicago, a $15.52 million tax-exempt bond issued by the Illinois Finance Authority, $9.4 million in new market tax credits, $9.57 million from other local sources, and a $1.1 million contribution from mHUB. The building is located within a designated Opportunity Zone and planned manufacturing district on a two-acre site that will increase mHUB’s prototyping and testing facilities and office and convening spaces to become the largest independent manufacturing innovation center in the country.

“This historic investment will help drive Illinois and the nation’s global leadership in hardtech, and particularly around the commercialization of clean and sustainable technologies,” said Haven Allen, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of mHUB. “It will create an anchor institution in Chicago to execute its commitments leading the nation’s reemergence and manufacturing legacy. It’s made possible through the broad collaboration of the private sector, strong leadership at the city and state, and ongoing engagement with the federal government.”

The Spark Cleantech Accelerator at the University of Tennessee Research Park is a founding member of the Heartland Climate Tech Partnership that also includes mHUB, Evergreen Climate Innovations, and Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University. Project affiliates include “Chain Reaction Innovations” at Argonne National Laboratory, “Innovation Crossroads”  at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Launched in 2017, mHUB has supported more than 500 start-ups and 200 manufacturers from all over the world that have created more than 5,000 jobs and generated more than $2.6 billion of economic activity.

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