Blog Post

AVN, RAPID and Partners to Establish National Center of Excellence for Process Design  


Onshoring this capability will enable faster response times, fewer supply chain disruptions  

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va., March 2, 2022 – The Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (AVN®) today announced it will establish the Center of Excellence (CoE) for process design, defining a new standardized process development framework to streamline chemical manufacturing processes from laboratory bench through to commercial production.  The initial projects will develop continuous processes for critical materials for the pharmaceutical industry currently substantially produced overseas. These new capabilities will be established as a result of the Department of Commerce’s recent Rapid Assistance (for) Coronavirus Economic Response (RACER) grant to the RAPID Manufacturing Institute, of which AVN is a sub-awardee.  

AVN—applying its unique infrastructure and subject matter expertise—will lead the specialty chemical manufacturing industry with this Center of Excellence focused on accelerated process design through modular processing. Onshoring the capability to move critical pharmaceutical material manufacturing processes from concept to commercial products will enable faster response times and fewer supply chain disruptions for the Nation.  

“Today, the U.S. doesn’t have the manufacturing capability to produce some key raw materials and intermediates at scale to support our pharmaceutical industry and needs,” said AVN Chairman & CEO Steven B. Hedrick. “The COVID pandemic and the current global supply chain issues have taught us the importance of supply chain stability and security, and this starts with critical raw materials produced domestically, distributed with purpose, and efficiently accessed.”  

“At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we struggled to get our families and front-line healthcare workers access to necessary PPE, disinfectants and other critical equipment. I applaud AVN for making this exciting investment and establishing the Center for Excellence right here in West Virginia. Their broad-based chemical technology expertise will also help improve domestic Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing, at a time when onshoring our pharmaceutical supply chain is critical,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). “West Virginia’s strategic location and AVN’s unique skillset will play a critical role in ensuring healthcare professionals across the country can quickly and efficiently get the equipment they need to safely do their jobs.”  


AVN is a sub-awardee of the RACER grant from the Department of Commerce to the RAPID® Manufacturing Institute (RAPID). AVN will collaborate with RAPID, the project leader, and with partners at Teich Process Development and Procegence.  

“Through its partnership with RAPID, Teich and Procegence, AVN’s Center of Excellence avails our economy with choices. Choices like this afford the opportunity to source from Americans for Americans, or to selectively buy from overseas, at their discretion,” said RAPID Executive Director & Chief Technology Officer Ignasi Palou-Rivera. “Just on the horizon, the most important raw materials and intermediates for pharma will again be made available inside the United States and not be locked down by a relatively inelastic supply chain originating in nations with substantial government control.”  


AVN is headquartered in South Charleston, W.Va., at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park (WVRTP), a location with a rich history in innovation and technical expertise. Establishing AVN’s CoE at WVRTP will build a new manufacturing capability and capacity in the Appalachia region which, in turn, creates jobs that are not significantly different than historic, nationally important roles in mining and steel.  

“We are pleased for AVN, RAPID and their partners to onshore this much needed capability. Employing Americans to develop processes to help other Americans, while decreasing the energy intensity that is required in batch processing, is something we are excited to lead,” U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said. “Retraining and upskilling workers to operate modular specialty chemical plants takes some time, but it builds on the existing operator and technician programs that are available locally.”  

RACER grants are awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce to high-impact projects designed to fund awards for research, development, and testbeds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.  

About AVN:  

AVN is the strategic innovation partner of choice that provides uncommon expertise and infrastructure to solve the most challenging science and technology problems. Focusing on the areas of chemical, energy and environmental technologies, technical engineering and advanced software technologies, AVN delivers innovation from concept to commercialization. We utilize our experienced and renowned staff, unique laboratory and pilot plant facilities, and flexible intellectual property models to create value for customers and investors around the world. We are an energized and expanding company that works from facilities in South Charleston and Morgantown, W.Va.  

About RAPID® Manufacturing Institute:  

RAPID serves as a nexus between process innovation, economic development, and job creation. The technology development and educational programming we sponsor will increase energy and operational efficiencies, enhance productivity, and improve sustainability, making U.S. manufacturing in the chemical process industries (CPI) more competitive in the global market and developing the next generation workforce for these industries.  

Media Contact:  
Katie Regan  
(304) 720.8612 x9850  

The AVN logo is a registered trademark of Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center. RAPID® is a registered trademark of the RAPID Manufacturing Institute.  

THE AVN BLOG: Novel Technology Identification and Evaluation  

Working with a customer’s technical team, AVN chemists generated several potential novel routes to organic carbonates. An experimental project was then begun to investigate the potential of these processes. Through this short but productive laboratory effort, the technical challenges involved were identified and possible extensions were proposed.  

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