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First Flight Venture Center Launches Hangar6 Shared Advanced Prototyping Facility

First Flight Venture Center (FFVC), a Research Triangle Park-based science and technology incubator for NC entrepreneurs, has launched its advanced rapid prototyping facility, Hangar6. Designed to be a shared prototyping lab for technology-based companies in and around North Carolina, the project is funded by a $450,000 challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

FFVC launched Hangar6 with a grand opening event on February 20th, and will hold periodic events during the year to showcase new equipment, capabilities, and services as the facility evolves to meet the needs of science and technology businesses.

Located in RTP at 6 Davis Drive, directly adjacent to FFVC headquarters, Hangar6 is a shared, rapid prototyping facility, and subscription-based program, designed specifically for technology companies to bring their designs to market. The facility has an extensive collection of equipment including, 3D scanners, CO2 lasers, metal fiber lasers, a CNC mill, 3D printers, and more. Hangar6 also offers machine training and design assistance to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and businesses with the help of experienced shop manager, Sam Dirani.

“We’re looking forward to providing a comprehensive range of advanced equipment and expert professional services that will serve as a resource for the rapidly-growing number of science- and technology-based entrepreneurial companies that are springing up in the RTP and the greater Triangle regions,” said Andrew Schwab, FFVC president. “We believe that the Hangar6 facility will be a catalyst for the growth of new companies and new employment opportunities for North Carolina.”

According to Schwab, the Hangar6 prototyping facility is designed to have an ongoing, self-sustaining source of funding through subscription fees for use of the equipment, as well as sponsorship opportunities for companies that offer resources and services needed by companies engaged in the prototyping process.

Partnering with FFVC in the Hangar6 project are Alexandria Real Estate Equities, an RTP-based real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on life sciences; the North Carolina Center Of Innovation Network (NC COIN), a member network of companies dedicated to fostering a growth environment in North Carolina for technology companies; and Eva Garland Consulting (EGC), a firm that assists innovative technology companies obtain non-dilutive funding through government and private sources to accelerate their growth.

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