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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

ACEA Awarded $750,000 USEDA i6 Challenge Grant to Accelerate Smart Airport Technologies

The Atlantic County Economic Alliance, (ACEA) was awarded a USEDA i6 Challenge grant, according to County Executive Dennis Levinson.  The grant will provide $750,000 in federal funds and will be matched with $933,673 in local funding and in-kind commitments. 

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) will serve as ACEA’s lead partner under the grant. NIA collaborates with NASA and other government agencies to conduct leading-edge research and technology development in space exploration, aeronautics, and science. 

Under the grant, partner organizations will create a Smart Airport and Aviation Partnership (SAAP) in southern New Jersey. The SAAP will attract new businesses into an economic cluster that is ideally matched to the region’s strengths and capabilities. 

Other partners include Atlantic County government, Cape May County government, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), the National Aviation Research and Technology Park (NARTP), the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and Rowan University, Stockton University, Atlantic Cape Community College, South Jersey Transportation Authority, and aviation-related businesses. 

Levinson stated that the investment Atlantic County has made in developing the NARTP and an Aviation Innovation Hub comprised of the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center and the Atlantic City International Airport, is achieving the intended benefits. “Our efforts are being recognized and validated by both industry and academia,” Levinson said. “This was a highly competitive application process.Over 183 i6 Challenge applications were submitted and only 26 were awarded funding. Other recipients included Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, Purdue University, and the Mayo Clinic. We are proud to be ranked among such prestigious institutions.”

According to Lauren Moore, Executive Director of the ACEA, “Our success is a testament to the strength of our partnerships. We will now be able to develop and service small business incubators and accelerators that should attract startup companies. We believe that within three years, the cluster will be sustainable and we will have created a critical mass of new and existing companies. The resources from this grant will be leveraged by the SAAP to ultimately generate $10-20 million in investment.”

“We are very excited to be leading the Smart Airport and Aviation Partnership for ACEA.  We look forward to working with our regional government, industry and academic partners, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, to establish a thriving Smart Airport and Aviation cluster in Southern New Jersey,” said Dr. Douglas Stanley, President NIA.



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