First Flight is preparing for the takeoff of its latest venture.

Hangar6, a facility for advanced and rapid prototyping, will launch in September at the First Flight Venture Center in RTP, FFVC’s Andy Schwab announced Wednesday.

The project is being funded through a $450,000 challenge grant that FFVC earned from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“It’s exciting to see the progress as the Hangar6 facility comes together,” said Schwab, FFVC’s president. “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. We believe that the Hangar6 facility will be a catalyst for the growth of new companies and new employment opportunities for North Carolina.”

FFVC was among 36 organizations, selected from a pool of more than 215 applicants, to receive a total of $15 million from the federal Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. The center serves as an incubator for emerging and startup high-tech and life science companies.

“The RIS program advances innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country by addressing two essential core components that entrepreneurs need to take their ideas to market: programmatic support and access to capital,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker when the grant was announced last November.

Hangar6 will  be open to all North Carolina science-based businesses. Three key project partners are behind FFVC’S Hangar6 Program: Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE), the NC Center of Innovation Network (COIN) and Eva Garland Consulting (EGC).

Hangar6 will offer participating companies access to a range of advanced equipment as well as expert services and will be supported by subscription fees to ensure its sustainability and growth. Hangar6’s capabilities will evolve over time, as they are adapted to clients’ needs.

FFVC plans an open house on Sept. 13 and will host events periodically to showcase its equipment, capabilities and services.

Hangar6 will be located in space adjacent to the FFVC’s headquarters.

A full-time director will be hired to oversee the facility.

“FFVC is actively seeking equipment suppliers and other vendors to participate in the Hangar6 program,” the center notes.