The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) has begun building a 51,250-square-foot, $25.5 million Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA) on IALR’s campus. Funded by the state and Danville Regional Foundation, it is being built in cooperation with Virginia’s Division of Engineering and Buildings and will serve manufacturing companies entering Southern Virginia.

“The new Center for Manufacturing Advancement is a natural next step in positioning our area as a leader in this sector, and as an expert resource for those companies wishing to establish a location here locally,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director of IALR.

“The Center will allow companies to interface with peers, technology providers and students to leverage space, collaboration and equipment opportunities for their own advancement,” said  Troy Simpson, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at IALR.

Additional partners for the building project include Dewberry, Blair Construction, Master Engineers & Designers, Dunlap & Partners Engineers and Site Collaborative.

“Southern Virginia is a top location for advanced manufacturers from across the globe, and the Center for Manufacturing Advancement will undoubtedly help attract more of them to the region,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “This state-of-the-art facility will play an important role in driving economic development and innovation in Virginia, while also helping the existing Danville-Pittsylvania business community grow and thrive.”

The CMA, projected to open in 2022, will be built next to Kyocera SGS Tech Hub. It will feature two floors, offices, meeting rooms, areas for support services and the following amenities for manufacturer tenants:

  • Rapid-launch facilities enabling new businesses to begin limited operations off site during the down time of factory construction

  • ISO-certified inspection lab providing integrated inspection capabilities to validate product quality, reducing company start-up phases by 4 to 6 months, the time to certify an inspection lab

  • Process improvement labs that will enable new and existing businesses to improve their processes in a more expeditious manner, thereby ensuring global competitiveness

  • Industry 4.0 integration/training lab for next-generation production

  • Platform for collaborative innovation allowing manufacturers, technology companies and engineering students to work together to discover, integrate and showcase emerging technology

  • Concierge service that provides the wrap-around support needed by companies new to the U.S. during their critical start-up phase

For the full news release, click here.