Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Delta Air Lines commits $5 million to U Georgia’s Innovation District initiative

By David Schwartz
Published: February 4th, 2020

The University of Georgia has gotten a big boost for its ongoing efforts to build an Innovation District in the form of a $5 million gift from The Delta Air Lines Foundation.

The school has big plans for the Innovation District as a central area for fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and experiential learning at UGA. It recently took a first step beyond the planning stage, opening Studio 225 as its home for the Student Center for Entrepreneurship. The Delta gift catalyzes the next step aimed at building out research commercialization and university-industry collaboration spaces.

The gift includes $2.5 million to renovate the Spring Street Building in downtown Athens,which will provide flexible workspace, conference rooms, and presentation areas to support faculty start-up companies and enable students and industry partners to collaborate on company-based research and development projects.

Another $1 million will go to the Office of Experiential Learning for the launch of the Student Industry Fellows Program. The fellows will complete training to develop innovation competencies, serve as campus ambassadors for the Innovation District, and work alongside industry partners to solve real-world business challenges.

The remaining $1.5 million of the Delta gift will support the Student Success Center at Driftmier Engineering Center, home to the UGA College of Engineering. The center will provide space for academic advising, student support offices, and experiential learning in spaces devoted to team projects and collaboration between students, faculty, and industry partners.

The gift is the latest in a long line of significant contributions to UGA from The Delta Air Lines Foundation, based in nearby Atlanta. In recognition of those gifts and the long-standing relationship between the university and Delta, the airline received the 2018 Friend of UGA Alumni Award.

“The Delta Air Lines Foundation is pleased to support the University of Georgia Foundation with a grant to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and foster leadership in collaboration, design and development,” said Tad Hutcheson, senior vice president of The Delta Air Lines Foundation.

“I want to express my deepest appreciation to our loyal friends at The Delta Air Lines Foundation for their ongoing and generous support of the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “This gift will help us prepare our students to be successful leaders in the knowledge economy while enabling the research discoveries of our faculty to make the greatest impact on society.”

Source: UGA Today

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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