Georgia Tech has been awarded a $65 million federal grant to support a statewide initiative combining artificial intelligence and manufacturing innovations with transformational workforce and outreach programs.

The grant is aimed at creating jobs in distressed and rural communities as well as among historically underrepresented and underserved groups.

The Georgia Artificial Intelligence Manufacturing Technology Corridor was among 21 winning projects the White House announced Friday under the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. It follows a $500,000 feasibility grant the project received last year.

“Georgia Tech is honored to lead this vision of collaborative innovation and economic development across all regions of our state,” Tech President Angel Cabrera said. “This award underscores [Georgia Tech’s] commitment to leverage our resources and expertise to address great challenges, serve our state and nation, and amplify our impact on the world.”

Georgia Tech’s involvement in the project will come on multiple fronts. The school’s AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility will allow government- and industry-run pilot trials, cybersecurity games, and workforce training in AI manufacturing technologies.

Two of Tech’s commercialization programs – VentureLab and I-Corps South – will create a center for the commercialization of AI manufacturing technologies through local and regional startups.

The Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Tech’s economic development arm, will engage in focused outreach and technical assistance to small- and mid-sized manufacturers and minority-owned businesses.

“The work that we will accomplish with our broad spectrum of partners in this new endeavor will leverage the latest technology in artificial intelligence to grow and strengthen our workforce, ensuring that the growing manufacturing sector in Georgia has the skilled workforce it requires for today’s as well as tomorrow’s needs,” said Thomas Kurfess, executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute.

The Supply Chain & Logistics Institute at Tech will study the impact of automation technologies and build automation solutions tailored for rural manufacturers.

Georgia Tech is working with a coalition of statewide partners on the project that includes the University of Georgia, the state Department of Community Affairs, the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission and the Robins Air Force Base 21st Century Partnership.

The grant from the U.S Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration will use funds from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

Dave Williams | Capitol Beat

Dave Williams is the Bureau Chief of Capitol Beat News Service.