CSPO Events

April 17, 2024 12:00pm—1:30pm

North Carolina Sustainable Textiles Innovation Engine

In recent years, place-based innovation has attracted renewed attention from policymakers and major new funding, including over $80 billion in current federal support for historically overlooked regions. Awarded an NSF Regional Innovation Engine grant in early 2024, the North Carolina Textile Innovation and Sustainability Engine (NCTISE), along with its key partners, is developing technologies for manufacturing advanced fibers and recycling waste textiles into new fibers. These innovations hold promise for various sectors, including construction, advanced materials, and healthcare. The panel and discussion explored challenges of coordinating activities across a largely rural region that spans parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia; innovation opportunities that build on regional strengths; and new approaches to workforce development and assessment.

This CSPO Conversations program brought together policymakers in science and technology, regional development, as well as innovators and investors to discuss emerging opportunities and plans for assessing the effectiveness of new funding streams. Exploring the historical legacies that fuel or hinder innovation, they examined organizations and networks that span the “triple helix” of universities, industry, and government. Are we witnessing the start of a new approach? What new outcome metrics should be used to advance goals for more rural regions?