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Miles College Launches 2150 Center for Innovation, Commercialization & Growth to Boost HBCU Innovation Ecosystem

Fairfield, Alabama – [June 27, 2024] — The 2150 Center for Innovation, Commercialization & Growth, established by Miles College President Bobbie Knight, aims to supercharge the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Historically Black Community College’s (HBCC) innovation ecosystem. "We are at the intersection of purpose and prosperity and embrace tradition and innovation as we continue to advance the college ahead for the next 50 years. We are prepared to build a world-class space for researchers and founders, thought leaders and practitioners, businesses, and academia," said Miles College President Bobbie Knight.

The Center's primary mission is to foster a thriving innovation economy for HBCUs and HBCCs, particularly in the Birmingham area and the state of Alabama. It will achieve this by supporting diverse and underrepresented creators, disruptors, and innovators and connecting researchers to founders to foster successful entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities.

Led by Erskine "Chuck" Faush, newly appointed Miles College Chief Innovation and Growth Officer and the Center's Founder In Residence, the Center will build upon existing efforts to support Alabama's HBCU ecosystem and utilize Centers of Excellence to attract entrepreneurial talent and venture investment, thereby expanding the city and region's innovation capacity. Housed at Miles College, 2150 will serve as a collaborator, incubator, and accelerator. “We are launching a collaborative that will improve economic outcomes by connecting and synergizing a unified community to attract and retain talent, champion workforce development, support researchers and founders, and drive economic empowerment”, said Faush.

2150 is partnering with various stakeholders in the public, private, and education sectors to solve problems and align talent and research with market-driven product demand, particularly within the HBCU ecosystem. Southern Research CEO Josh Carpenter said, “The strength of our public-private partnerships, especially working with Miles, will expand our reach and maximize our economic impact for the state as a whole.”

The 2150 Center for Innovation, Commercialization & Growth will assess and validate high-potential ideas, creating value for companies, generating revenue for the institution, and providing additional research support. Through shared resources, services, and collaboration, the aim is to foster the growth of people, products, and places within the local and state economy and the HBCU ecosystem.


About the College: Founded in 1898 Miles College is located in Fairfield, Alabama. We are a private, liberal arts, Historically Black College with roots in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The College, through dedicated faculty, cultivates students to seek knowledge that leads to intellectual and civic empowerment. Students are transformed through rigorous study, scholarly inquiry, and spiritual awareness, thereby enabling graduates to become responsible citizens who help shape the global society. Miles College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).