by Beth Potier
University of New Hampshire will play a leading role in a major national public-private institute that will create an industry to regenerate human tissue and organs. Funded by $80 million from the U.S. Department of Defense combined with more than $214 million from industry, education and nonprofit partners, the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) is led by Manchester-based DEKA Research & Development and will be headquartered in Manchester. UNH will lead the national education and workforce development activities for ARMI, which comprises more than 80 partners from industry, academia, government and nonprofits.
“UNH has vibrant and extensive life sciences research, education and workforce development programs, with particular strengths in cellular biology, biomedical sciences and bioengineering,” says UNH President Mark W. Huddleston. “We are honored by this recognition from the Department of Defense for our leadership in STEM education and workforce development.”
“Our UNH Manchester campus in the Amoskeag Millyard is collocated with DEKA and ARMI headquarters, supporting efficient communication and coordination,” he adds. “It will serve as the strategic home of a cell culture training facility for students and workers from New Hampshire and the region.”
Biofabrication is an innovative manufacturing industry segment at the intersection of biology-related research, computer science, materials science and engineering. The Department of Defense says the acceleration of regenerative tissue research is especially important to restoring form, function and appearance to wounded soldiers and reducing the waiting time for organ transplant patients.
In addition to leading the national education and workforce development efforts of ARMI, UNH will serve as the lead academic institution for the Northeast region node. UNH will partner closely with the Community College System of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College and Boston University, as well as with the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, and the state office of workforce opportunity and department of resources and economic development to lead workforce development efforts in this area.
ARMI taps UNH’s leadership role in creating powerful partnerships that leverage the university’s research and workforce expertise to drive economic development in the state. It also draws on the university’s growing life sciences strength: The university recently hired 18 new tenure-track faculty with state-of-the-art knowledge in the life sciences, and its planned Biological Sciences Initiative will remodel and expand teaching and research facilities in the areas of bioengineering and cellular biology, fields relevant to tissue biomanufacturing.
ARMI is the 12th institute established as part of Manufacturing USA, a bipartisan program that brings together industry, academia and government to co-invest in the development of world-leading manufacturing technologies and capabilities.
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