Cong. Budzinski

CHAMPAIGN — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will award $51 million to the Illinois Fermentation and Agricultural Biomanufacturing (iFAB) Tech Hub to support groundbreaking bio-based research. In October, the iFAB facility became one of 31 inaugural Tech Hubs across the country aimed at advancing rapid growth in critical technologies and industries. Today’s announcement comes after months of collective action to secure iFab as a final selection.

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“The $51 million federal investment in the iFAB Tech Hub is a game changer for Central Illinois,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “For years, our region has been leading the nation in groundbreaking agricultural research. The funding announced today will build on that foundation with explosive economic growth and place Decatur, Monticello and Champaign at the center of a booming bioeconomy. I’ve been proud to push for these resources and I couldn’t be more excited to see our area’s unique potential unlocked with this historic investment. Congratulations to the University of Illinois and thank you to everyone who’s helped to make this announcement a reality.”

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The iFAB Tech Hub, a consortium led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, aims to boost domestic biomanufacturing capacity and improve the development and deployment of new bio-based products – all while building out a highly-skilled workforce and cementing Central Illinois’ status as the nation’s preeminent ag-tech corridor

Biomanufacturing is the process of converting crops like corn and soybeans into a wide range of high-value commodities, creating more market stability for family farmers while spurring growth in bio-based businesses. While the U.S. demand and potential are great, the infrastructure to support growth is lacking. The iFAB Tech Hub is poised to respond by growing Illinois bioprocessing into a world-class hub for fermentation manufacturing.

The federal Tech Hubs Program was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act in 2022. You can read more about the Tech Hubs program at TechHubs.gov.

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