iFAB Tech Hub

Tech Hubs Official Designee Badge

Lead Agency: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

State Served: Illinois

Geography: Champaign-Urbana and Decatur MSAs

Core Technology Area: precision fermentation and biomanufacturing

Contact: Beth Conerty ([email protected])

Media Contact: Claire Benjamin ([email protected])

The Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing Tech Hub (iFAB Tech Hub), led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, seeks to scale precision fermentation to convert underutilized corn feedstocks into high-value, customized alternative proteins, food ingredients, materials, chemicals, and more. By leveraging its regional assets in corn and soy feedstocks, food processing infrastructure, and research leadership, this Tech Hub will provide a domestic biomanufacturing testbed through the development and deployment of multi-use pilot and demonstration capacity and equipment for biomanufacturing innovators while also training a skilled workforce.

The iFAB Tech Hub seeks to advance fermentation technology by making it possible to create zero-emission, high-value products from agricultural commodities.

This consortium’s proposal includes plans to:

  • Upgrade existing facilities to allow for more companies to commercialize bioprocessing and precision fermentation technologies and increase production capacity;
  • Share equipment, expand capital access, and contract research organizations to attract global companies to the region and to foster and retain home-grown entrepreneurs;
  • Establish training programs to create career opportunities for underserved young adults; and
  • Manage and implement an integrated project work plan, including tracking component projects, developing the Hub’s short- and long-term strategies, evaluating and reporting projects for iFAB, and exploring additional funding opportunities.

To ensure that the impacts of the Tech Hub project benefit the entire region, the consortium has detailed specific outreach strategies and wraparound support services for its workforce development project.   

This summary is based on information submitted by the applicants. If selected for funding, the final EDA-approved scope of work may differ.

Designee Narrative (PDF)

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