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MSU Receives Grant To Help Make Michigan Industries More Sustainable

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The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Michigan State University $2.25 million over the next five years.

Michigan State University will soon be home to a center focused on helping businesses become more sustainable.

The United States Department of Energy is awarding MSU a grant worth more than $2 million to go towards an Industrial Assessment Center, or IAC.

MSU staff and students will work together to help manufacturers and commercial building owners improve the efficiency and productivity of their operations.

That could include finding ways to revamp a business’s energy efficiency, sustainability or waste reduction.

MSU College of Engineering Assistant Professor Kristen Cetin is the center’s director. She says many businesses aren’t able to tackle these issues without help.

“Those smaller manufacturers or smaller commercial building owners often don't have the resources to be able to spend the money, or dedicate a person, to spend the time to support inefficiency improvements.”

IAC staff will identify businesses that are able to benefit from the free services the center provides. They will then recruit them to participate, assess their operations, and follow up with a report of suggestions.

Annick Anctil is the assistant director of the center. She says engaging students is a key part of the IAC’s mission.

“We know that students are interested because there’s a lot of sustainability efforts across the campus, but there’s not a clear program for them to go or participate.”

Most of the work will not be done physically at MSU. Students and staff will travel to different facilities for assessments.

The center will be the only one of its kind operating in Michigan, and will be the first in the state since 2017.

McKoy's story is brought to you as part of a partnership between WKAR and Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

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