A state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Knoxville is receiving a multi-million dollar grant from the federal government to produce the materials needed for electric vehicles and electric batteries, an industry that has quickly become a staple of the Tennessee economy.
The Department of Energy announced April 11 that the Institute for Advanced Innovation will award $6 million this year to research and develop advanced composite materials for use in clean energy technology.
The objective is to strengthen the country's renewable and efficient energy sectors.
The Department of Energy will continue to provide millions of dollars to IACMI through 2028. The Department of Energy has already committed $70 million to the Institute and has received more than $180 million from member partners.
The institute is the first to receive a second round of funding from the Department of Energy and is one of six clean energy innovation institutes to receive funding.
IACMI public affairs director Mark Morrison told Knox News that the manufacturing institute is on track to receive $30 million over five years.
IACMI executive director Chad Doughty said the money will be used to develop materials for electric vehicles, which require lighter and stronger materials to run on a single charge.
"We're really seeing Tennessee become a center for advanced composites and manufacturing innovation," Morrison told Knox News, "especially given the expected growth in electric vehicles and electric batteries."
IACMI is a community of 120 people dedicated to the development of advanced composite materials for use in the automotive, aerospace, infrastructure, and renewable energy industries.
He also works with the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
"Integrated products have the potential to improve everyday life," IACMI Executive Director Chad Doughty said in a press release. "Integrated technologies will continue to play a critical role as we develop more sustainable solutions to our nation's energy, transportation and infrastructure challenges."
Funding for research and development of new materials to support carbon sequestration will also increase IACMI's staff.
Advanced Composites are lighter, stronger and more durable than concrete.
Doughty told Knox News the funding shows the facility is having a significant impact on assembly line manufacturing.
"IACMI is living proof that when we bring together our nation's leading experts across the manufacturing value chain to listen, learn, and share ideas and best practices, we can make a big impact." – Alejandro Moreno, US Acting Undersecretary for Energy for energy. efficiency and renewable energy sources," the press release reads. "The department looks forward to seeing IACMI continue to develop this collaborative spirit for practical and innovative development as our partnership continues."
Tennessee has become a popular place for automotive companies to start and grow. The Volunteer State is made up of 900 such businesses in 88 of the 95 counties.
Silas Sloan is a growth and development reporter. Email [email protected] . Twitter @silasloan. Instagram @knox.growth .
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This article originally appeared on the Knoxville News Sentinel: Knoxville Institute for Advanced Composites Department of Energy.