WASHINGTON, D.C. (KSNW) – Wichita State is one of 60 finalists for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s $1 billion “Build Back Better Regional Challenge” – the marquee of EDA’s American Rescue Plan program signed by President Joe Biden in March.

The university was chosen out of 529 applicants for a proposed project called Driving Adoption: Smart Manufacturing Technologies, which aims to empower the adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies to promote manufacturing competitiveness and profitability in the Wichita region

The coalition proposes to expand semiconductor testing, evaluate semiconductor manufacturing, grow resiliency of smart manufacturing, employ an additive manufacturing strategy, expand the workforce, and establish a cyber manufacturing convening with the goal of creating job growth.

Wichita State will receive a grant of approximately $500,000 to further develop its proposed project. Finalists will now compete for phase 2 of the challenge, which will award 20-30 regional coalitions up to $100 million to implement three to eight projects that support an industry sector. The deadline for phase 2 is March 15, 2022.