California-based STEM workforce and entrepreneur acceleration nonprofit Base 11 will be funding a grant for one HBCU in order to help develop a hands-on liquid-fuel rocketry lab.
Birmingham Times reports that a key to the state of commercial aerospace’s current climate is liquid propulsion. So the winner of this grant will have access to a lab that will give them an edge over others in the commercial space, a space that, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will become a nearly-$3-trillion industry within the next 30 years.
“The African American workforce and entrepreneurial community was largely left behind by the tech boom in Silicon Valley, and we don’t want to see the same thing happen with the commercial space industry,” said Landon Taylor, Base 11 CEO. “This grant will equip an HBCU with the seed capital and human capital needed to build a robust, long-term student rocketry program that can work in concert with industry to develop in-demand aerospace talent and launch new innovations that will harness space as the new frontier.”
This advantage will be a huge step in the right direction for diversifying the industry and will give an HBCU exclusive access to the technology that will set them apart from the competition.
The request-for-proposals process will open up for interested HBCUs officially this August, and the winning school will be chosen this fall.