CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The University of Illinois has been named one of 31 regional technology hubs spurring innovation across the nation.

The Biden-Harris administration named iFAB (Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing) one of many leading the charge in biomanufacturing. Researchers convert grains like corn and soybeans into high-value goods. Textiles, biofuel and food ingredients are some of the resources they’re making.

One person who is impressed is Doug Kelly, CEO of American Edge Project, a group of tech leaders advocating for policies supporting American innovation. He said the work U of I is doing not only benefits the nation but will put us at the forefront of biotechnology for years to come. 

“You can take essentially what was a grain and turn it into a plastic-like resident composite,” said Kelly. “All of a sudden the plastic problem that lasts for thousands of years, these things can degrade over a shorter period and protect the environment. So, I think the sky’s the limit at iFAB.”

Kelly said the hub could continue making commodities benefiting everyone worldwide.