Merck, A&T to Establish Biotech Training Center at Gateway Research Park

GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 7, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Merck (NYSE:MRK) announced a collaboration agreement today for Merck to build a biotechnology training center at Gateway Research Park’s South Campus in East Greensboro.

Merck will outfit the facility with the equipment and classroom spaces necessary to provide and enhance academic programming and training for biotechnology careers for North Carolina A&T students. A process laboratory will allow opportunities for students to put knowledge into practice in an advanced discovery setting.

The 4,025-square-foot facility, expected to be completed in 2024, will include manufacturing and research components with vaccine manufacturing process training for new and existing Merck employees.

“Merck Durham is committed to the community and the development of talent,” said Amanda Taylor, plant manager for the Merck Manufacturing Division site in Durham, North Carolina. “In this future facility, students will learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills through hands-on applications in manufacturing and research.”

“This forward-thinking partnership housed on the Gateway Research campus emphasizes both N.C. A&T and Merck’s commitment to optimize and develop innovative ideas in collaborative facilities that will not only benefit health outcomes, but will strengthen our impact in the research ecosystem for this region and state going forward,” said North Carolina A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr.

The collaboration will add significantly to biotechnology research and education already underway in colleges and departments across A&T. In addition to biotechnology and bioengineering degree and certificate programs in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, the colleges of Engineering, Science and Technology, and Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, the university is developing a Department of Defense-funded Center of Excellence in Biotechnology.

The collaboration aims to not only provide training, but also build a pipeline of talent for Merck and the biotechnology industry overall.

“The Merck partnership fits well within our 2030 Strategic Plan, which demonstrates our commitment to transformative engagement,” said Tonya Smith-Jackson, Ph.D., A&T provost and executive vice chancellor of Academic Affairs. “We partnered with Merck because of their commitment to advance the human condition and strong values around diversity and inclusion. A&T is central to producing highly qualified students. Our nationally-recognized excellence in community engagement will also expand access to biotech teaching, training and research.”


By Jamie Crockett / 06/07/2023 Research and Economic Development

ImpactData Partners with Guilford County Schools on Dream Center Campus at Gateway Research Park

GREENSBORO, N.C. – January 12, 2023 – ImpactData has chosen East Greensboro to develop its flagship product, the Dream Center in partnership with North Carolina A&T State University. The facility will be located at Gateway Research Park South Campus (2901 East Gate City Boulevard), where the company will build out 115,000 square feet of new construction, creating 28 new jobs, and investing more than $130 million over the phases of the project. The Dream Center is a mixed-use facility that will include a 10 MegaWatt hybrid co-location data center, a higher education innovation center, and workforce development co-working flex space to support the neighboring community.

“In the past five years the City has been intentional about making equitable investments, especially as it relates to East Greensboro,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. “ImpactData is adding to the variety of innovation taking place in the Gateway Research Park, while setting the foundation for those seeking careers in the technology sector.”

ImpactData is a minority-owned digital infrastructure firm that delivers mission critical infrastructure focused on partnerships with HBCUs and their surrounding communities in select national markets.

“ImpactData is committed to investing in the tech innovation that is shaping the Greensboro community through this partnership with North Carolina A&T State University, and Gateway Research Park,” said Terry Comer, CEO, ImpactData. “This initiative is a bright reflection of our company’s national vision for reshaping public private partnerships.”

In addition to ImpactData’s inaugural Dream Center with NC A&T, Gateway’s Digital Transformation Campus will feature Guilford County School’s (GCS) newly constructed ~70,000 sq. ft. Community Education Center (CEC). The new GCS facility, primarily funded by ESSER/Federal COVID-19 funds, will be used to address the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the school district and the region’s students, families, staff, and communities. The Community Education Center will provide flex spaces with tutoring and educational programming, adult education and digital skills initiatives, as well as community meeting and engagement spaces for students, adults and families.

“GCS is a forward-thinking and future-minded school district striving to improve programming and educational options for our more than 68,000 K-12 students and families. The CEC will provide the district additional space to expand our innovative practices for all kinds of learners throughout the district and the community,” Superintendent Dr. Whitney Oakley stated. “GCS is poised to take our nationally acclaimed learning recovery efforts to new heights, and the CEC will help us continue our focus on community engagement as a foundation for success for all of our students and families.”

The facility will also address the school district’s need for staff training amenities, as well as newly constructed spaces beyond traditional classrooms with targeted resources for enhanced student, adult education, and community support.

“ImpactData’s Dream Center Campus plans are a great example of the progress that can be made when we combine the strengths of a leading research university with the opportunities that can be found at a dynamic research park,” said North Carolina A&T State University Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. “Both A&T and Gateway Research Park are committed to economic success in East Greensboro and throughout our city, and as a university with a $1.5 billion economic impact across this state, that commitment is heartfelt on our campus. We look forward to the many great benefits that ImpactData and the Dream Center Campus will yield throughout this region.”

“These combined projects will transform Gateway Research Park and help further our mission of serving as a regional catalyst for innovation, economic development, and university research,” said Jim Westmoreland, Interim Executive Director for Gateway. “In short, the planned services and programs to be offered at the Dream Center Campus will significantly benefit the broader community and help further establish Gateway as a premier destination for advanced research and development work — via the computational horsepower to be offered through ImpactData’s proposed data center.”

“Greensboro/Guilford County is second to none when it comes to offering a tech company strong engineering talent, as well as an amazing quality of life for its employees. We are excited for what these projects will mean for East Greensboro.” said Brent Christensen, President & CEO Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.

ImpactData also partners with DigitalBridge (NYSE: DBRG), a leading global digital infrastructure firm, which manages more than $50 billion in communications infrastructure investments, including data centers and other digital assets. DigitalBridge has assisted ImpactData in creating technical designs, financial structures, curriculums and community programming in support of this innovative mixed-use investment. DigitalBridge is committed to closing the digital divide, partnering with ImpactData and other organizations on this important mission.

“DigitalBridge is pleased to support ImpactData’s engagement with NCA&T and the Greensboro community through the development of its innovation center designed to drive advancement and upskilling while also providing a new, high-quality data center to support companies in the area,” said Marc Ganzi, Chief Executive Officer at DigitalBridge.

The ImpactData and GCS teams are working with a wide range of local architects, planners, engineers, construction professionals and grant writers on the Dream Center Campus, which is currently in the advanced design and planning phase. The partners have begun a number of community engagement initiatives and charettes, and will conduct public in-person and virtual “Construction Day” activities in connection with sub-contracting, inclusion efforts, capacity building, and local training opportunities from the Dream Center Campus.

“It is an honor to be welcomed into the City of Greensboro, East Greensboro and Guilford County. We are grateful, and focused on the opportunity to establish high-speed connectivity, advanced digital infrastructure and digital transformation in these communities.” said David Calloway, ImpactData’s COO.

The Guilford County Economic Development Alliance, consisting of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and High Point Economic Development Corporation, worked together with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, City of Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Gateway University Research Park, Duke Energy, Guilford Technical Community College, the Guilford County Workforce Development Board, Guilford County Schools, Piedmont Natural Gas, and, North Carolina Department of Commerce in securing ImpactData and GCS’s investments in Guilford County and the City of Greensboro.

About the Greensboro Chamber
The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the community serving more than 1,250 member businesses through programming designed to help them succeed and grow. A partner in the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance, the Chamber also serves as Greensboro’s primary economic development organization, with special emphasis placed on community and entrepreneurial advancement through Action Greensboro and Launch Greensboro.

About ImpactData
ImpactData designs, builds, and operates secure, purpose-built colocation data centers on the campuses of colleges and universities with a community transformation delivery model. Anchored in hybrid, multicloud technology, ImpactData is building a network of distributed, mini-cloud regions that integrate digital infrastructure with academic, innovation & workforce training space to foster more literate, interconnected campuses and communities. Beginning with the Dream Center Campus at Gateway Research Park in Greensboro, NC, ImpactData expects to deploy over $1 billion in “digital learning” infrastructure over the next decade.

Contact: Megan Mabry
Vice President – Marketing & Communications
Greensboro Chamber of Commerce


A Sea Change in Sepsis Management from Horseshoe Crab Innovation

GREENSBORO, N.C. – December 13, 2022 – Kepley Biosystems, a North Carolina biotechnology company located at Gateway Research Park, has been awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant to continue product development in sepsis diagnosis and management. The grant, entitled, “A Rapid, Sensitive Pathogen Typing and Antibiotic Sensitivity Test for Bloodstream Infections (COVID-19)” improves infectious disease management and would transform the current standard of care. Sepsis takes a life every 2.8 seconds and is the leading cause of hospital mortality, annually taking some 49 million lives, worldwide. Now ranked as the most expensive healthcare challenge, its US toll exceeds $62 billion per year. Yet the disease has continued to pose management and prevention challenges, to which one out of three sepsis patients succumbs.

Rapid detection of bloodborne infections prior to the onset of sepsis is critical, as the risk of mortality increases 8% every hour without appropriate treatment. However, when suspected from clinical symptoms that often mimic other causes, empiric antibiotic therapy has given rise to antimicrobial resistant microbes or ‘superbugs’ due to lengthy, established test methods. As such, overuse of antibiotics has been declared one of the top ten threats to humanity by the World Health Organization.

This Kepley BioSystems NSF grant will support Phase II development of a rapid bloodstream infection detection technology. The innovation employs a component of horseshoe crab blood, Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL), which reacts with pathogens at parts per trillion levels. “Such sensitivity is comparable to a single drop of water in 20 Olympic size pools,” said Kepley director of Scientific Communications and Operations, Lee Robertson.

“Infectious disease complexities in a respiratory pandemic have highlighted how early diagnosis in 1-3 hours with small sample volumes and pathogen differentiation could make an outsized contribution to healthcare. The infection sequelae are similar, but treatment differs significantly. Proof of these parameters is also in our Phase II goals,” said Kepley director of Research and Development, Dr. Rachel Tinker-Kulberg. She added, “If we can impact the entire continuum of care, from admissions through patient care and discharge – by identifying infections early and optimizing treatment, this work could save lives.”

In a recent statement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency reported that “historic progress made in antibiotic prescribing was reversed during the pandemic.” Overall, it has been estimated that antimicrobial resistance contributes to approximately 10% of sepsis deaths. The Kepley Biosystem Phase II NSF diagnostic and infectious disease surveillance research would also seek to answer this call to address critical health care gaps and slow the spread of resistance.

Kepley BioSystems president, Dr. Anthony L. Dellinger asked, “If not LAL – then what – as the scourge of bloodborne disease overwhelms governments, science and industry? Sepsis morbidity is projected to lead all causes of death in my lifetime.”

Their Phase I research demonstrated the potential for a screening assay that would be more affordable than molecular assays and provide same-day treatment guidance without waiting days for traditional clinical microbiology. Phase II development will focus on alignment with existing hospital workflows and infectious disease management protocols. In addition to the $1 million dollar Phase II contract, Kepley is eligible to receive an additional $500,000 in matching funds with a qualifying third-party investment.

Kepley scientists have established significant expertise in horseshoe crab husbandryoptimizing critical components of their nutrition, and resulting in a sustainable aquaculture platform. Phase I efforts produced lysate (LAL) that was more reactive and consistent than commercial materials collected from the wild, while monitoring and ensuring the wellbeing of the husbanded crabs.

Dellinger concluded, “We are seeking a partnership with a global industry leader to bring this technology to hospitals that urgently need new sepsis management tools while mitigating risks of antimicrobial resistance. That has been and continues to be a serious threat lurking behind COVID-19 and many other viral pathologies not suitable for antibiotic administration.”

About Kepley Biosystems, Inc.

Kepley Biosystems is a North Carolina-based biotech company founded in 2013, with partnerships with the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University (NCA&T) and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). The Kepley mission is to address globally significant opportunities through IP development, research and disruptive innovation. This NSF Phase II SBIR is the 3rd research grant unique to horseshoe crabs and by extension, the practicality of scalable aquaculture of the invertebrate for captive, repetitive bleeding compared to wild capture and an estimated 30% morbidity annually for for biomedical bacterial endotoxin testing (BET). Horseshoe crab ranching at Kepley has been proven over a 6-year period with healthy animals, survival, and proven sustainability advantages. The necessity for captive/aquaculture derived LAL and hemocyanin substrates are vital beyond BET, moving into clinical screening of human blood to detect and type pathogens for preventing and mitigating sepsis, and most recently, a patent grant using hemocyanin as an additive for tissue transplants and a biologic preservative (Innocuous sterilant using hemocyanin and functionalized fullerenes with broad-spectrum intracellular and interstitial microbiocidal and radical scavenging effects for packaged matter, biologics and organics, cells, and limbs with cooper mediated oxygenation for viability and preservation, Brady,, #11452288; 9/27/2022).


About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs

America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.


Anthony L. Dellinger, PhD
President at Kepley BioSystems Inc.
Phone (Office): +1-336-217-5163
Address: 2901 East Gate City Blvd, Suite 2400, Greensboro, North Carolina 27401

SOURCE: Kepley BioSystems Inc.

N.C. A&T’S Driving Into the Future Event Unveils Rural Test Track for Autonomous Shuttles

GREENSBORO, N.C. – November 1, 2022 – Welcome to the future.

Already served by campus food delivery robots and humanoid and canine robots in College of Engineering labs, North Carolina A&T State University added an exciting new dimension to its portfolio of futuristic innovations on Nov. 1 as it unveiled three new autonomous shuttles that will soon go into use on campus and nearby roads.

The Aggie Auto shuttles were the stars of a special event at Gateway Research Park’s north campus, where research and development takes place for A&T’s steadily growing autonomous vehicle fleet, which now includes six passenger vehicles of varying sizes and capabilities. Gateway has something not found at any other university in the nation: A 2-mile test track that simulates rural driving conditions and allows researchers to test vehicles in real-world conditions.

While the new shuttles continue to be in development, it is expected that they will begin carrying riders in Spring 2023, not only taking students around campus, but to downtown Greensboro and back.

Leaders in local, state and federal transportation were invited to “test ride” the autonomous shuttles on the new Gateway North test track. Federal Highway Administration chief Stephanie Pollack, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. were among those who took part, with each shuttle carrying five passengers at a time.

This test track and autonomous fleet allow N.C. A&T researchers to develop groundbreaking and equitable transportation solutions for low-demand rural areas by providing more efficient customer-focused transportation services via flexible routing and scheduling. The vehicles will also reduce transportation costs because of smaller vehicle sizes and the adoption of ride-sharing strategies.

“It is exciting to see that talented students and researchers at N.C. A&T play such an important role in this transportation domain and push the boundaries of research, innovation and advanced technologies and serve all of society, particularly rural and underserved communities,” said Ali Karimoddini, Ph.D., director of NC-CAV Center of Excellence in Advanced Transportation Technology. Karimoddini is principal investigator on the autonomous vehicles, leading a robust team of faculty, graduate students and undergraduates at Gateway North.

The fleet is comprised of three low-speed self-driving shuttles, a high-speed self-driving van and two regular autonomous sedans.

Each vehicle is classified at SAE autonomy Level 4, meaning they can perform all driving tasks under specific circumstances, and a human driver can override and take control of the car. Additionally, the cars are in compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The new shuttles’ maximum speed limit is 25 mph and, at this time, researchers have determined they can confidently drive them autonomously between 15 and 20 mph, depending on the terrain’s complexity.

The fleet allows researchers to test and develop different solutions for a variety of domains — university campuses, urban downtown areas, rural areas and highways. The Aggie Auto shuttles are  connected to the cloud, to each other and to home-base infrastructure to form what are known as connected autonomous microtransit vehicles, or CAVs.

To ensure safety, they must first undergo a period of socialization, which consists of mapping the routes they will follow and deploying vehicles one by one. This allows the research team to identify potential challenges and make appropriate technical and route adjustments in collaboration with the City of Greensboro Department of Transportation. The socilalization period is also intended to help drivers acclimate to seeing the shuttles in action and sharing the road comfortably and with confidence.

“The Federal Highway Administration is proud to support N.C. A&T’s work to develop this test track and bring the concept of connected and automated vehicles one step closer to market, especially for underserved and rural communities,” said FHWA’s Pollack. “The technology N.C. A&T is developing also has the potential to protect vulnerable road users – people who walk, bike or roll – by testing interactions with bike lanes, bus stops and more. These innovations are critical for ensuring the safety of all road users.”

Transportation research has a long history at A&T, beginning with the Transportation Institute’s establishment in 1970 and expansion to the Center for Advanced Transportation Mobility, which continues innovative research regarding vehicles, operators and infrastructure.

As a historically Black university, A&T has been a leader in preparing diverse populations to enter transportation-related professions. The university is the home to the first Summer Transportation Institute, now funded by FHWA, which has been running successfully for 30 years.

A&T is also home to the North Carolina Transportation Center of Excellence in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technology (NC-CAV), founded in 2019, and the Autonomous Cooperative Control of Emergent Systems of Systems Laboratory, or ACCESS Lab, founded in 2013. Both NC-CAV and ACCESS have worked to model, analyze and improve solutions for complex transportation and autonomy problems.

Other transportation/autonomy research faculty prominent in this work include Abdollah Homaifar, Ph.D., Leila Hashemi-Beni, Ph.D., John Kelly, Ph.D., and Steven Xiaochun Jiang, Ph.D., as well as collaborators from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and North Carolina State University under the NC-CAV Center.

Throughout the history of autonomy at A&T, researchers have worked to expose undergraduate and graduate students to technology. Notably, A&T participated in the four-year international AutoDrive Challenge organized by SAE International and General Motors, and received several awards including the second place in the overall competition in 2019. Faculty researchers Sun Yi, Ph.D., Professor Daniel Acree, Younho Seong, Ph.D., and Balakrishna Gokaraju, Ph.D., joined Karimoddini and numerous Engineering students on the AutoDrive team.

These advancements in autonomous technology have been made possible through federal, state and local partnerships and funding from the National Science Foundation, FHWA, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Downtown Greensboro Inc. as well as industrial partners.

Contributor: North Carolina A&T State University, Jamie Crockett, science writer

Gateway Research Park Announces the Appointment of Seven New Board Members

GREENSBORO, NC – September 20, 2022 – Gateway Research Park announced the appointment of seven new members to the board of directors. This brings the number of Gateway board members to 20.  The new members:

Mrs. Nancy Johnston
Executive Director
North Carolina Biotechnology Ctr, Piedmont Triad Region

Mr. Brian Moore
Assurance Director
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Mr. Justin Outling
Partner and Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP

Mr. Mark Prince
President & CEO
Guilford Merchants Association (GMA)/FirstPoint, Inc.

Mr. Doug Speight
Triad Growth Partners

Mrs. Carole Simms
Fox Rothschild LLP

Mrs. Denise Turner Roth
National Business Line Executive
Director, Equity Center of Excellence

“We’re very pleased to welcome these eminent new members to our board,” said Chair Dr. Chuck McQueary.  “We’re entering what we expect to be a powerful growth phase at Gateway Research Park and these new directors bring in-depth skills and strengths to help guide our planned expansion and strategic direction.”

Jim Westmoreland, Interim Director of Gateway Research Park, said, “Multiple factors are coming together at this time that will allow us to continue to fulfill our core mission of serving as a regional and statewide catalyst for university research, innovation, and economic development. This group of dynamic new board members and established leaders positions us well to maximize our future success and overall impact.”

Greensboro officials give ImpactData grant for ‘Dream Center’ data center and education space

GREENSBORO, NC – August 16, 2022 – The Greensboro City Council unanimously approved a $530,359 incentive grant to a digital infrastructure firm to locate a “Dream Center” at Gateway Research Park.

Over a four-year period, ImpactData of Atlanta plans to invest $108.5 million to build the center and create 28 new jobs.

The average wage for the new full-time positions would be about $60,714, plus benefits. The lowest-paying job would earn about $35,000 a year, said Marshall Yandle, the city’s economic development manager.

The 115,000-square-foot project would include a data center, an innovation center owned and programmed by N.C. A&T and a lab dedicated to workforce training and community engagement.

“Whenever you look at research around economic development, high-speed connectivity is an important part of attracting clients and businesses to the area,” ImpactData CEO Terry Comer told the council. “Ultimately, you’re bringing resource-level connectivity — 100 megabit download speeds — into the community.”

Eventually, Comer said the company could build additional levels of connectivity from the center to local residences.

The minority-owned company looks to build these “Dream Centers” alongside colleges and universities, particularly HBCUs.

In a letter from A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., he said the project “will allow the university to expand academic and research offerings in high-demand areas, such as cybersecurity and engineering, as well as further expand our growing presence in east Greensboro.”

“It would be a complement to the current businesses that are there in the area,” Councilwoman Sharon Hightower said.

Source:  Greensboro News & Record, Kenwyn Caranna, August 16, 2022

Community Education Center to be Located at Gateway Research Park

GREENSBORO, NC – July 12, 2022 Guilford County Schools (GCS) Superintendent Dr. Sharon L. Contreras and North Carolina A&T State University Chancellor Dr. Harold A. Martin are pleased to announce that the district and the University are working with the Gateway Research Park, Inc. a joint venture partnership of North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to build a Community Education Center. The facility will be used to address the negative impact of COVID-19 on the district’s students, families, staff, and community. The Community Education Center is currently envisioned to provide flex spaces with tutoring, adult education, and community meeting rooms for students and adults. The Center is expected to open in 2024.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted our communities and disrupted the workforce,” said Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras. “The new Community Education Center will increase the potential of accelerating learning by serving as a high-dosage tutoring hub for students and will provide professional, high-tech learning spaces for GCS teachers and leaders.”

The Center will further provide in-demand job training for parents and community members. We are excited to work with North Carolina A&T State University to design a facility that prioritizes professional development, academic support for students, access to high-speed broadband connectivity for families, and workforce development opportunities for our parents.

Dr. Harold A. Martin shared the Superintendent’s sentiments. “The data consistently show that student learning suffered across the country during the worst of the COVID pandemic when in-person instruction was not available,” said North Carolina A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “This center represents a pro-active approach to do something about it. Our multi-institution collaboration will directly impact the students and families of Guilford County, and North Carolina A&T is proud to be playing a significant role in that service to our neighbors and this community.”

The Community Education Center is currently in the planning stages. It is targeted to be located at the Gateway Research Park’s South Campus (2901 East Gate City Boulevard) and is a critical component of the GCS’ ESSER plan funded by COVID-19 federal relief dollars approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Two weeks ago, at the urging of the Guilford County legislative delegation, the North Carolina General Assembly included a provision in the state budget to allow the Gateway Research Park to enter into a lease agreement with the Guilford County Board of Education for a minimum term of 50 years, a requirement for the use of federal funding to build the Center. The budget was signed by Governor Roy Cooper yesterday.

At is July 12, 2022, meeting, the Guilford County Board of Education authorized GCS staff to execute appropriate documents to effectuate the creation of a 50-year lease for the Community Education Center on the campus of the Gateway Research Park.

UNCG Professor’s $3.5M Research Aims to Solve One of the World’s Biggest Problems

GREENSBORO, NC – January 5, 2022 – College is tough enough, but hats off to students who travel half the globe for school! Four ambitious, brave, and passionate young adults did that to join the work of one UNCG professor.

“Some of my students are from Nigeria, Ghana, India, and Sri Lanka,” Dr. Hemali Rathnayake, UNCG Associate Professor of Nanoscience, said. “All those countries have a scarcity of freshwater.”

These students left their home countries and flew to Greensboro to join Rathnayake’s research. Research that has received $3.5 million in funding.

“I’m here to purify water bodies for our community,” a student from Ghana said.

One of Rathnayake’s research projects uses nanoscience, which is science on a microscopic scale, to efficiently clean drinking water. All of these students share the same experience as their professor growing up with little freshwater.

“Growing up in India as a child, I used to go on a motorcycle with my dad,” another student shared. “I used to sit on the back of his motorbike and always wonder: there’s so much pollution and people don’t care.”

“Sometimes you have to walk miles to find a well and everyone does not have their own well,” Rathnayake said.

Knowing this research could make a difference at home, these students came to Greensboro with a heart for change.

“I’m very, very grateful because I’m passing through a learning process and it’s gradual, but I’m enjoying every bit of it,” a student from Nigeria said.

“When I look back, I feel like this as though this was not the same me, then I came in,” another student added. “The confidence I built up being in the lab and learning new things.”

“Going out of your comfort zone, you don’t like the transition, but Dr. Hemali Rathnayake always pushes and says ‘you can do it,'” she adds.


Source:  WFMY News 2
 Monique Robinson
January 5, 2022

ESC Brands Advancing New Products Designed to Kill COVID and More

GREENSBORO, NC – September 10, 2020ESC Brands is actively developing three products that provide new options for protection from both microbial and viral infection, including COVID-19.  ESC has facilities in America, Hong Kong, China and Canada, and along with an R&D space in Gateway’s Launchpad, produces nano antimicrobial coatings and antiviral technologies for the consumer, industrial and institutional markets.

My-Shield Laundry Complete is an advancement added to the fabric cycle of any domestic or commercial washing machine that’s proven to kill COVID-19 at 99.9% in 15 minutes. After a one-hour treatment, it’s effective for up to 200 days.

Bruce Smyth, Managing Director of ESC Brands, said, “Wearing clothing washed in Laundry Complete is like wearing an “antiviral” mask over your entire body.” We’re excited about introducing this breakthrough new product later this year to the consumer and commercial markets.”

The product development of My-Shield Laundry Complete, as well as other ESC products, including a surface disinfectant now on the market, is overseen by Dr. Debra M. Moriarity, Professor Emerita, at the University of Alabama Dr. Moriarity plans to present her findings as a white paper to the Journal of Science on completion.

U.S. Department of Transportation Taps Gateway to Test Innovative Materials

GREENSBORO, NC – September 1, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe National Transportation Systems Center has contracted with the Gateway Materials Test Center (GMTC) to test materials for commercial vehicles, enabling them to be lighter weight, cost efficient and more durable. Parts made with Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) composites are expected to arrive in early September to undergo rigorous testing at Gateway South.

“Gateway is a regional hub for innovation, and we’re delighted our Materials Test Center was selected to be part of the U.S. DOT’s efforts to improve commercial vehicle transportation throughout the nation,” said Jim Westmoreland, Interim Executive Director, Gateway Research Park. “This is our first major federal testing contract and as you might imagine, our GMTC team is very excited and eager to get started serving the Volpe Center on this important project.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center, with a mission of advancing transportation innovation for the public good, works to anticipate emerging transportation issues and address the nation’s most pressing and complex challenges. Its work emphasizes safetyinfrastructure and accountability

The Volpe Center plans to use the information generated by these tests to provide performance data for the manufacture of cargo tank motor vehicles that use FRP composites. Sample panels made of these materials will undergo testing for strength, impact resistance and flexibility; the GMTC test results will provide engineers at Volpe with the information needed to create numerical models on how the tanks would perform. These performance models will enable the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish a standardized means of permitting tank construction for tank manufacturers to employ in the design of vehicles constituted with FRP composites.

The Gateway Materials Test Center provides chemical, analytical and physical testing that helps companies develop better products, get them to market on time, save time and money, and minimize risk. Organizations throughout the U.S., Europe and South America depend on the advanced equipment and knowledge of science and engineering at GMTC.

GMTC would also like to thank and recognize Dr. Ajit Kelkar, Chair of the JSNN Department of Nanoengineering, for his help in landing this important work item with the USDOT.