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North Carolina A&T University has announced that faculty were awarded eight U.S. patents – the most ever in a single fiscal year over the university’s 132-year history.

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Sponsored research activities expanded significantly in 2022, supported by a second-consecutive record year in contracts and grants to A&T faculty: Researchers earned $97.3 million in awards, marking an increase of $19.2 million over the previous fiscal year and nearly 62% in total research funding over the past two years.

Among the many projects to win funding are efforts to keep food service workers safe from airborne viruses, increase flood-mapping capabilities, reduce household energy expenses, expand Alzheimer’s disease research frontiers and improve automatic speech recognition systems.

“It’s important to underscore that this funding, awarded competitively, is earned through the creativity and focus of our talented faculty,” said North Carolina A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. in a statement. “It enables them to make important, impactful advances in such areas as autonomous vehicle technology, biomaterials, nanoengineering and more I’m grateful for the outstanding effort they collectively put forward.”

Projects that received funding included:

A $1.05 million N.C. Department of Environmental Quality grant in support of two research projects that will provide cost-effective solutions to low-income housing challenges by helping homeowners save energy and reduce household expenses.

A $600,000 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to help establish an airborne virus transmission laboratory model to create and disseminate best practices to keep employees safe and address gaps in evidence-based decision-making that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed in the food-processing industry.

A $473,615 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant to support work to address gaps in flood extent mapping capabilities by using drones to gather data that is challenging to capture otherwise.

A $324,000 National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences grant to expand previous Alzheimer’s disease research by supporting the development of a reproducible, 3D membrane-free neuro-gliovascular-immune system.

A $320,565 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for collaborative research on speech science to improve automatic speech recognition systems that are becoming ubiquitous in modern life.

“Our faculty are deepening their leadership and reputations across numerous areas of scientific interest, both on their own and in collaboration with peers across campus and around the country,” said Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Eric Muth, Ph.D. “The growth for which they were responsible last year is not only great for the projects they’re involved in now, but for those they will pursue in the future.” Click here to read more.

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