Hangar6, the advanced prototyping center in RTP, will not open as expected on Sept. 13 as planned, due to issues in construction, says Andy Schwab who runs the First Flight Venture Center.
First Flight remains committed to the project, has hired a director for the facility, and hopes to have the lab open for business in the near future, says Schwab, First Flight’s president.
The First Flight Venture Center, which is an incubator for new and emerging entrepreneurial companies, landed a $450,000 grant for Hangar6.
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.
“The project is still moving forward,” Schwab tells The Skinny.
“We have had a number of electrical power issues to deal with for the equipment we plan to use that required changes to the facilities existing power.”
Schwab also says there are permitting issues.
“We are trying to get electrical plans finalized along with appropriate permitting,” he explains. “The work required is minor, but we must follow all building codes to do this properly.
“It will take another 4-6 weeks to complete and then we can open. All equipment have been ordered and is on its way here. We should have an opening date once the permitting process is complete. We hope its no later than the end of October but could slip into November.”
Sam Dirani, a design professional and co-founder of Light Up Education, came on board as Hangar6 director in August.
“We hired him because he has both a great industrial design background and considerable interest in education/learning,” Schwab says.
“He has operated shops before and we think he will be a great asset to entrepreneurs that need assistance in design for manufacturability and help learning how to use various tools for prototyping their designs.”
Dirani is a graduate from the NCSU School of Design with a master’s in industrial design. He earned an undergraduate degree at NCSU in biological sciences.