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President Obama Announces N.C. State Will House New Research Consortium

By John Murawski of the News and Observer

RALEIGH — President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday that N.C. State University will be home to a $140 million consortium of companies and universities that will develop the next generation of energy-efficient electronic chips and devices.

Obama will make the announcement on NCSU’s campus during a brief visit to the Triangle.

The Next Generation Power Electronics Institute will be headquartered on NCSU’s Centennial Campus. Over the next five years, the U.S. Department of Energy will provide $70 million to the institute, to be matched by at least $70million in nonfederal money by the businesses and universities and the state of North Carolina.

The state is providing nearly $10 million over five years, NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson said in an interview late Tuesday. Woodson said NCSU has a deep background in technology that helped it rise above competing teams to win the federal institute.

“It’s really a tremendous honor,” he said. “And we could not have won it without the support of the state and our industry partners and terrific faculty.”

The consortium will consist of seven universities and labs and 18 companies, including ones such as Cree and ABB that have a large presence in the Triangle.

The institute is one of three that Obama proposed in last year’s State of the Union address to improve the country’s manufacturing sector. The competition for funding was launched in May.

Two additional institutes, focused on digital design and manufacturing and metals manufacturing, will be awarded in the coming weeks, the Obama administration says.

More Links:

North Carolina State University Chancellor's Statement on Announcement of Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute by President Obama

U.S. Energy Department - Wide Bandgap Seminconductors: Essential to Our Technology Future 

Triangle Business Journal Article - Obama to Announce New Manufacturing Institute Led by NCSU


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