Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA (ODU) and the Carbon Research Center Development Company, Wise, VA (CRDC) have agreed to cooperate in exploring and developing opportunities for regional economic growth in rural Virginia.
ODU and the CRDC want to strengthen entrepreneurship and regional economic growth by undertaking cooperative efforts to promote and facilitate programs of innovation and commercialization.
The CRDC is a new 24,000-square-foot Manufacturing and Research Center located in Southwest Virginia. Their goal is to become the “graphene hub” of the country. First discovered almost two decades ago, Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and 100 times stronger than diamonds. This super material and particular formulation potentially have some unique applications. “The world has been waiting for graphene to be affordable,” said Steve Hooper, Ph.D., CRDC CEO. If the team at the research center is successful in developing the affordable commercial use of graphene, Hooper said it’ll be like “finding the Holy Grail.”
Old Dominion University Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (ODU-IIE), through its Regional Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development Program (REED), is partnering with rural companies and regions to help grow economies and increase entrepreneurship. Virginia REED is funded by a grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and the Commonwealth of Virginia, which requested ODU-IIE to expand its TempO program throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. This funding will help businesses and regions dependent upon government contracting diversify into commercial markets.
The CRDC is the first company and Wise, VA is the first region to be selected to participate in the Virginia REED program. Jerry Cronin, Director of the TempO program, says “ODU IIE is excited to be part of the Wise team and is looking forward to working with the CRDC as it makes the use of this game-changing material more affordable.”
About Old Dominion University
ODU Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Old Dominion University, located in the coastal city of Norfolk, is Virginia’s entrepreneurial-minded doctoral research university with more than 24,000 students, rigorous academics, an energetic residential community, and initiatives that contribute $2.6 billion annually to Virginia’s economy.
About Carbon Research and Development Company (CRDC)
US-based Carbon Research and Development Company (CRDC) produces graphene materials, derived from biomass. CRDC will soon produce commercial-grade graphene (Xphene) for composites and other uses at its’ Graphene Research Center in Wise Virginia. Unlike other graphene producers who use graphite as the source feedstock, CRDC’s process converts wood into graphene and sophisticated carbons. This proprietary process results in a substantial cost reduction when compared to other manufacturers.