The Biden-Harris Administration designated the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (APM) Tech Hub as one of the 31 inaugural Tech Hubs in the United States.
Tech Hubs are designated across the U.S. in regions that show potential for rapid growth in key technology sectors. The designation is through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan of Virginia wrote a letter of support for the designation in August to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and called for grant funding to support APM’s continued development.
“Congratulations to the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Consortia on its new designation through the Economic Development Administration as a Tech Hub,” McClellan said. “This recognition is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the consortium members and the incredible innovation taking place in the Fourth District of Virginia. I was proud to advocate for additional federal funding for the APM Consortia from the Department of Commerce, and I am confident this new designation will further strengthen this cluster and position it as a global hub for pharmaceutical manufacturing.”
The APM Tech Hub, led by the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) on behalf of the Alliance for Building Better Medicine, will employ regional assets, scientific capacities and public and private investment to accelerate the growth, innovation and sustainability of the U.S.-based pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.
The Alliance for Building Better Medicine is a cluster development program of Activation Capital that includes non-profit, industry, academia and government partners, including CCAM, an Alliance member organization who took the lead on this application for Designation as a Tech Hub based on its unique expertise in advanced manufacturing. In Virginia’s Fourth, academic partners include VCU and Virginia State University (VSU).
“Receiving designation as an EDA Tech Hub reinforces the collective value and impact of the Alliance members and partner organizations in our development of an APM capability both in the Richmond-Petersburg region and the country,” Dr. Joy Polefrone, Executive Director for the Alliance for Building Better Medicine, said. “Through investments by the Commonwealth in the thoughtful strategic planning and implementation for the APM cluster several years ago followed by the historic win through the EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge last year, we were excited and prepared for the bold challenge set forth in the Tech Hub application. We’re eager to continue on this journey together in setting audacious goals that enable us to work together to build better medicines.”
The designation is part of the first phase of the novel Tech Hubs program, authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, that will invest directly in high-potential U.S. regions and aim to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers. Designation is an endorsement of the region’s strategy to supercharge their respective technological industry to create jobs and strengthen U.S. economic and national security. Designated Tech Hubs are now eligible to apply for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program that will invest between $50-$75 million in each of 5-10 Designated Hubs.
“As a public research university, VCU is committed to innovation that addresses our most vexing problems to find solutions for our communities’ needs, including to the need to stay healthy,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “VCU is proud to be a partner with the Alliance for Building Better Medicine and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing to reinvent the way medicines are made. This designation further solidifies Virginia’s and our region’s status as a quickly growing center for important ideas and impactful research that changes and can save lives.”
VSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Tia A. Minnis said the designation “is a tremendous honor for our university and is a testament to our commitment to both innovation and research. We see this designation as a great accomplishment and an opportunity for our university to partner together with industry and government leaders to help find solutions that will strengthen our region’s energy and technological ecosystem.”