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Manufacturing Solutions Center visited by Cabinet official

Industry News, News | February 28, 2024 | By:

Arati Prabhakar, Ph.D., visits the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) in Hickory, N.C. Feb. 21, 2024. Image: MSC

On Wednesday, Feb. 21 Arati Prabhakar, Ph.D., director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, toured the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C. and participated in a roundtable discussion about the future of textiles and the positive role that the NC Textile Innovation and Sustainability Engine (NCTISE) will play. The NCTISE is part of the National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines program which is designed to support multiple regional innovation ecosystems across the U.S. and spur economic growth.

During the tour of the MSC, Prabhakar met entrepreneurs who have started innovative textile companies in the MSC incubator program and in the surrounding region. The roundtable discussion covered the importance of the textile industry to the nation and opportunities to develop and commercialize sustainable textile materials and products. In addition to Prabhakar, the roundtable panel included representatives from local resource organizations, educational institution and private industry. 

The NCTISE aims to advance the nation’s capacity for innovation in textiles with a focus on environmental sustainability and circularity, positioning the engine as a global leader in the sector. Through research and development, translation of innovation to impact and workforce development efforts, the NCTISE aims to disrupt the $96 billion textile industry. The Industrial Commons in Morganton, N.C., serves as the lead partner for the NCTISE. Other partners include MSC at Catawba Valley Community College, the Gaston College Textile Technology Center, NC State University’s Wilson College of Textiles and Western Piedmont Community College. The engine’s leadership team also includes the N.C. Department of Commerce Office of Science Technology and Innovation, NC IDEA and RTI (Research Triangle Institute). RTI will lead the NCTISE’s evaluation efforts.

To learn more about the North Carolina Textile Innovation and Sustainability Engine visit:

The MSC’s mission is to support US manufacturers and to create and retain US manufacturing jobs. To learn more about the MSC visit

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