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Innovative Programs

The following resources are available right in Martinsville:

Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing

Center for Advanced

This new 28-credit, performance film training program evolved out of a strategic partnership between two of the world’s leading producers of advanced window films - Eastman Chemical Company and Commonwealth Laminating & Coating – along with the NCI, PHCC and Martinsville-Henry County EDC.

The Advanced Film Certification program is built around the specific needs of performance film companies. The program is designed for people who want to pursue careers in advanced manufacturing and specialize in the performance film industry, as well as other fields. Interviews for open positions are guaranteed for individuals who complete the certification program. Local employers have direct access to hire graduates first.

Classes are held in multiple locations, including PHCC, NCI, Eastman Chemical Company and Commonwealth Laminating & Coating. Most of the basic manufacturing learning occurs at PHCC, while NCI houses equipment for hands-on, industry-specific training. The equipment is similar to the advanced machines found in actual manufacturing operations.

This training program is the beginning of more comprehensive offerings planned for the Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing. Phase 2 will involve advanced training of experts suitable for lead operators and technicians. Phase 3 will provide in-depth training on film and polymers. And, the focus of Phase 4 will be window film tinting and installation.

Fab Lab

The FAB Lab, certified by the Virginia FAB Lab Network, is a 1,600 sq. ft. facility in Uptown designed to support innovation in the region. Local industry and entrepreneurs can access the FAB Lab for engineering new products confidentially. The facility houses 10 design stations; a Roland Camm-1 SERVO 24” vinyl cutter; Roland MDX-20 Mill/Sanner; Stratasys uPrint SE Plus; Formech 686 Vacuum Former; Universal Laser 4.60; Routermate 4’X 4’; Torchmate 2’ X 4’; Morgan Industries Plastic Injection Molding Machine; Makerbot Replicator 1; along with work tables. 

Genedge Alliance

The GenEdge Alliance is a statewide consulting resource, based in Martinsville, to assist Virginia businesses with innovation, competitive markets and business growth. Consulting fees are subsidized by 60% via a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Standards & Technology Branch. Services to industry focus on optimizing manufacturing processes, supply chain optimization, and sustainability, and customized to address the particular company’s issues.

Nearby innovation resources utilized by local employers include:

Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM)

CCAM transforms applied research into business advantages via collaborations between world-class manufacturers and Virginia's flagship research institutions to create new "production-ready" solutions. Industry members guide the research, leveraging talent and resources within CCAM and at Virginia’s top universities, through a collaborative model that enables them to pool R&D efforts to increase efficiencies. Areas of research focus include surface engineering and manufacturing systems. CCAM’s applied approach bridges the gap between fundamental research, typically performed at universities, and product development, routinely performed by companies. CCAM accelerates the transition of research innovation from the laboratory to commercial use. Results can then be applied directly to the factory floor, turning ideas into profit.

CCAM is the only collaboration of its kind in North America and it promises its member companies significant business benefits. By pooling resources to pursue university research authorized by member companies, CCAM increases the value of private and public R&D investments. R&D risks and costs are shared by members – away from live production floors – and research results are shared with all members, allowing each company to capitalize on new, breakthrough developments that emerge from CCAM research.

NASA, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, and Sulzer Metco represent a sampling of CCAM members. University partnerships include Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia State University, and Virginia Tech.

Center for High Performance Manufacturing – Virginia Tech

The Center for High Performance Manufacturing (CHPM), located 30 miles northwest at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, conducts research and development of tools and technologies to help manufacturers become high-performance. Key areas of research include: Manufacturing Ergonomics; Innovation-Based Manufacturing; Production and Information Systems; Flexible Automation and Lean Manufacturing; Manufacturing Logistics and Supply Chain Management; and Rapid Manufacturing and Low-Cost Composite Manufacturing. 

Virginia Tech’s Food Science & Technology Department

Virginia Tech’s Food Science & Technology Department is the lead research institution for food products in Virginia. Research emphasis is in the areas of:

  • Food Safety and Health
  • Food Processing and Packaging (including both developmental and application research)
  • Food Chemistry, Sensory Analysis and Food Quality
  • Muscle Foods (Fish and Shellfish)

Research Facilities

  • Food Analysis Laboratories - Facilities for enzyme research, flavor analysis, and protein, lipid, and carbohydrate research are available. A supercritical fluid extraction system for separation technology and computer-interfaced analytical instrumentation is available, encompassing separation techniques with gas, paper, and liquid chromatography, GC, and HPLC. UV spectrophotometers, refractometers, mass spectrometers, infrared spectrometers, and spectrofluorometers are available as detection devices. Fraction collectors and high speed refrigerated centrifuges are used for physical separations. Color difference meters and viscometers are utilized to quantitate physical characteristics of samples.
  • Microbiology Laboratories - Food microbiology research and teaching facilities include five well-equipped laboratories. Rapid analytical equipment includes a Bactometer Microbial Monitoring System, luminator, Epifluorescent microscope, Phase contrast, and light and dark field microscopes. Cultures are grown in programmable, constant temperature incubators.
  • Packaging and Processing Pilot Plant - Packaging in both rigid and flexible materials and modified atmosphere and vacuum is available. Facilities include a 5,000-square-foot pilot plant with processing equipment for thermal processing, retort sterilization, size reduction, spray drying, freeze-drying, dehydration, and pasteurization. Equipment is available for aseptic processing by UHT and for supercritical fluid extraction.

Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Food Innovations Program

The Food Innovations Program provides assistance to Virginia’s food processing industry in order to produce high quality, safe, and innovative food products. This extension resource offers food product testing, technical guidance, guidance for starting-up food entrepreneurs, and educational programs, such as Better Process Control School, Food Product Recall, and Juice HACCP.